How Twitter Can Enhance Your Teaching Practice

Scott Knowles – Mathematics Scholar – @SK18Maths

In the modern day of social media, Twitter has become a source of latest news, fake news and most surprisingly… fantastic CPD. 

Let me reflect upon the first day of my PGCE, my University Mentor mentioned Twitter approximately twenty times. It seemed slightly counterintuitive that our academic mentor was encouraging us to set up a new social media account when we were about to be starting one of the toughest years of our lives. Surely this will be a distraction to our practice, not an enhancement? I could not be more incorrect.

As a previous Tweeter, I decided I would see what the fuss was about. After setting up my new work account, I followed the people that were suggested and then forgot about the account. Over the following months, I would occasionally log on, follow new people recommended by my tutor and log out again. It still appeared to be counterintuitive to my degree. 

Over the Christmas period, I decided that I wanted to try to use Twitter properly. I had created a question which I used to challenge a class in my first placement and I thought I would share it with the Twitter community to see what response I would get. It was brilliant! I had teachers from all over the world attempting, discussing and using my problem in their classes. This gave me a newly informed opinion on Twitter.

Let me fast forward to Easter. Since my first Tweet, I have discovered that Twitter can be so much more than a place for news. It is a community that shares best practice, challenges different pedagogies, encourages teachers to trial latest teaching techniques and provides amazing CPD. I have found brilliant websites and resources which has reduced my planning time and enhanced my practice. I have communicated with leading professionals in their field and used their blogs and articles to help inform my assignments. It has left me with the feeling that Twitter is amazing.

CPD and collaborative planning are extremely important in enhancing your teaching practice, however, within school, there is minimal time given to teachers to collaboratively plan within their departments. My solution to this is to invest 20 minutes every couple of nights on Twitter as it is an amazing way to collaborate with leading professionals and teachers all over the world. 

To get you started, here are a few accounts I recommend following:

Jo Morgan @mathsjem
Craig Barton @mrbartonmaths
Ben Gordon @MathsMrGordon
Andy Lutwyche @AndyLutwyche
Jo Boaler @JoBoaler
Dylan William @DylanWilliam
Jess @FortyNineCubed
Maths Scholarships @Beamathsteacher
Train to Teach Maths @PGCE_Maths
Corbett Maths @CorbettMaths

PixiMaths @PixiMaths
Sarah Carter @MathEqualsLove
TES Maths @tes_maths
Graspable Math @GraspableMath

There are so many more amazing Tweeters out who have helped me enhance my teaching practice. Why not give it a go yourself?