I came across an excellent blog post by Mark Anderson (@ICTEvanglist) this morning, which explains the benefits schools can gain from running a whole school twitter account. This is something we have embraced at my school (@lowerplace_ps) to the point where we now have over 700 followers. We use our school account to publicise events, celebrate achievement, collaborate with others and much, much more. We have formed relationships with schools nationwide, found fantastic CPD opportunities and even been followed by a Cabinet Minister.
Despite all this, I think our biggest twitter success can be seen elsewhere. Deep into Mark’s summary is a suggestion that a school account can retweet departmental tweets. This has been where we have really seen great results.
Shortly after I set up the school twitter account, I began to tweet from my class and set up @4aLowerplace. As admin for both accounts I began to see that I could reach a wider audience for my class by tweeting from @4alowerplace and then retweeting via @lowerplace_ps. For a while I was the only class tweeting, however, after a while more class accounts began to pop up. That led to more opportunities for sharing between classes and with the school account and more followers. The next step was for subject leaders to tweet from their specialist area. Following the creation of @LPScomputing accounts appeared for Maths, English, Science, Geography, History and PE. Perhaps the most innovative use of twitter has been through @wizard1_. He is a mystery figure who pops up every now and again to inspire KS1 writers, leaving clues around the school – awe and wonder? You bet!
We have gained such a critical twitter mass that the main purpose of @lowerplace_ps is now to retweet all the fantastic tweets which come from all the classes and subject areas. By adopting twitter as a whole school tool, and not just a whole school account we have opened up opportunities for sharing and collaboration beyond what would otherwise be possible.