I’ve been cleaning out my “need to read” email and found this article from the Washington Post (via ASCD SmartBrief) about Twitter and education. “‘Some Professors’ Jitters Over Twitter are Easing,” by Susan Kinzie (6/26/09) talks about how various college professors and even elementary school classrooms are using Twitter.
I love how Twitter helps us synthesize ideas down to the essence, and I am very excited to hear about Albert Whitman’s upcoming experiment to Tweet in the voices of the Boxcar Children, but … if you work in an elementary school, be cautious. The first term in the Twitter User Agreement says:
You must be 13 years or older to use this site.
Will Twitter sue you if you put kids on Twitter? Probably not. But it puts elementary educators at risk with the parent community or administrators.
Apparently, part of the Children’s Internet Protection Act had to do with protecting kids who were aged 13 or below. So in general, check with the User Agreement for a Web site before you leap in.
Now that we know Twitter is useful but that there are possible issues when using it with younger kids, who’s going to invent a plug-in for Moodle or a different closed environment that emulates Twitter in a safe way for kids?
Image:William Hogarth’s The Graham Children, from the National Gallery (UK) project, Takeonepicture.org. Caption added with Big Huge Lab’s Captioner