Monday, December 3, 2012

The Pope, Educators, and Twitter

The Pope is going to be using Twitter. According to the news release, he will be sharing lines from his homilies, weekly audiences, and reactions to world events. The Pope has over a billion “followers” in the Catholic Church. It used to be that the only way he could communicate directly to the Church is through a letter mailed by snail mail to each parish. Then, the parish priest would read it at each Sunday mass. With the advent of a Twitter handle, he can now communicate directly with Church members. Those who follow him can read the message first-hand, re-tweet (RT) the message, and comment upon it. How will this impact the Catholic Church? Will it encourage conversation about Church teachings? In an earlier quote about social media, the Pope said that using such tools encourages ‘dialogue, evangelization, and catechesis.” It’s a brave new world.
The Catholic Church is joining in, yet most educators are still very cautious. They question, “What can you communicate in 140 characters or less (including spaces)? Try it some time. Read an article. Read a book. Then, in 140 characters or less, synthesize that book or article. What must you say to get your point across? How can you do it effectively?

Now, think about how you could use that writing assignment (even with paper and pencil) with your students. What type of higher order thinking would your students be doing?
It would be great to read your stories. Please add them in a comment below. Or, send me a Tweet @virginiagl.


These educators are using Twitter:

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