Friday, May 22, 2009

Twittering Argyll and Bute

I've just picked up (via AB) on an interesting wee story set in my own local authority and involving some outrage over the Tweets of a teacher. You can read the original tale here. We have the obligatory angry parent who "knows half the pupils being commented on", and the local councillor who doesn't think teachers should be wasting their time on such sites - he thinks it is a drain on public resources.

If the reported tweets are representative of this teacher's crime, then the angry parent is either psychic or has been indulging in extensive research through her child. Maybe she spends her days on Twitter herself. And both she and the councillor seem to think that Tweeting takes up a lot of time, while anyone who knows anything about it is well aware it is the work of seconds to tweet a comment. No, what people don't like is the sudden insight into the life of a teacher, this well-paid paragon who always feels enthusiasm for even the most disruptive class, never blanches at the paperwork she has to fill out every time a child swears, never, ever complains about the lovely children whom the complaining parents have dispatched for the day and whose behaviour and work will always be the very best they can manage.

Teachers have always indulged in this sort of conversation, with each other, with friends, with anyone who cares to listen, on a bad day. This teacher's tweets seem not to name names, and to be, frankly, pretty bland - and two out of the four quoted were made outside school hours. What will Argyll and Bute do to the defiant ones who dare to tweet again? How wonderful if there were to be a deluge of @Argyll&Bute posts - the system might well grind to a halt, given past form.

Goodness, am I glad to be free. Are other councils run by such ignorant technophobes? I feel a Keatsian moment coming on: Tweet to the spirit ditties of no tone....


  1. Well said! The media are only banging on about this because they see it as a threat - after all if I see an incident I can report it in real time and without worrying about stupid biases etc. What you read is what you get. Die analogue press. Die!

  2. Anonymous6:03 PM

    Stuff and nonsense - get with the 21st Century A&B
    What is interesting is that A&B say that all their school networks ban social websites.
    That will be why all the kids use proxy servers to by-pass the security then:o) My kids - who are not the most computer literate - were able to show me how it is done.

  3. The real news story here is the discovery of a place where an education provider's spokesperson will happily declare that social networking sites are blocked in all schools as a matter of policy. That's not something to be proud of.

  4. A&B are the absolute pits. Fact.

  5. I may have to return to this...I'm sure fear is at the bottom of it all.