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How Can You Use Twitter With Teacher Candidates? Join Our Webinar Sept. 29

Education is no longer a profession in which teachers retreat to their classrooms and close their doors to work in isolation. Today, many teachers are involved in their professional associations, school-based professional learning teams, and increasingly in virtual collaboration of different kinds. Using a variety of technology tools such as Edmodo, Google Hangouts, Twitter, and more, many teachers are reaching out beyond their schools, districts, and even countries, to develop virtual networks that provide both professional challenge and support.

Twitter has demonstrated potential to facilitate learning among teachers and in higher education, but what role can Twitter play in educator preparation programs’ work with their teacher candidates? We invite you to address this question with us in a free AACTE webinar, “How Teacher Educators Can Use Twitter in Their Classrooms,” Tuesday, September 29, at 1:00 p.m. EDT.

Despite its reputation as the domain of celebrities, narcissists, and callow teens, Twitter has grown increasingly popular among PK-12 educators who use it for a variety of purposes, including networking, communication with students and families, and resource sharing. Because of this active use by practicing educators, Twitter provides teacher candidates with free, convenient access to professional resources, both in terms of content (e.g., articles, education news, lesson plans) and people (e.g., other educators, scholars) not typically available through teacher education courses. Twitter can help to connect teacher candidates to a source of diverse educational content that can potentially enhance their engagement with course material and support their ongoing learning beyond the classroom.

Although teacher candidates’ collaboration with their peers is certainly helpful, there are benefits to broadening the community of educators with whom they interact. While many teacher preparation programs rely primarily on the mentoring that one or two in-service teachers provide to each candidate, individual mentors may be unable to meet the multiple mentoring needs of teacher candidates. Social media such as Twitter can broaden novices’ interactions with practicing teachers in ways that allow them to draw upon different mentoring resources and foster a feeling of professional belonging. Such an early sense of professional identity could arguably help combat high attrition rates among young teachers. By connecting teacher candidates with more in-service teachers, Twitter may also be able to help bridge the theory-practice divide that teacher candidates often lament.

Join this free webinar to learn more about and discuss how Twitter can be used with the teacher candidates in your teacher preparation program. Registration is free and open to all AACTE members!

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Jeff Carpenter

Assistant Professor of Education and Director of the Teaching Fellows Program, Elon University

Michael Maher

Assistant Dean for Professional Education and Accreditation, North Carolina State University

Scott Morrison

Assistant Professor of Education, Elon University