This isn't a shameless plug for #214SpiritEG. Well, I guess by default it sort of is; however, I wanted to build off Linda's post from Monday.
District 214 is holding a Twitter Spirit Week in honor of the Centennial this week. They asked each school community to tweet to its specific hashtag all week, and the winning school will get burritos from a local business. This is, I believe, the second year they've run a contest like this. Additionally, they have celebrated #214oneday and #214bday, which were well received by many in and out of the district.
In addition to fun competition between schools, what events like this show are how a classroom, a school, and a district can leverage social media in a positive way. Instead of banning technology and punishing students for using their phones & iPads in class, we can reward them when they are using them responsibly to enhance learning. We can redirect students to create a positive digital culture and an audience for their work beyond the four classroom walls. This has been shown through some of our school's class hashtags like #EGLTS and #FRAPEG--both of which have been blogged about on this site (here and here) and whose digital presences and influences are growing constantly. It is possible to use Twitter and other forms of social media to enhance student learning!
Additionally, Twitter has become an important source of professional development for many educators. For example, I have connected with so many teachers for resources and feedback on our 20% Time Project (#20Time/#GeniousHour). Other teachers find contacts and resources via Twitter chats. No matter what you're looking to work on in your own professional development or classroom content, there is someone out there to easily network with on Twitter. If you'd like to learn more, please leave a comment or stop in to the CollabLab!
Also, go #214SpiritEG!