Heads: want to do well at the job? Go on Twitter

School leaders who spend some of their working life on Twitter are developing their practice and professional identities, new research says. Tes reports.

Scrolling through tweets and opening lengthy threads is not a productivity rabbit hole, the meta-study finds.

Instead, it is a way for school leaders to expand their educational knowledge, learn about academic research and reduce professional isolation. 

Academics from the University of Kentucky, in the US, conducted a review of existing research, in order to look at the benefits of Twitter for school leaders. 

In many cases, the sharing of knowledge on Twitter was interspersed with casual Twitter chat, creating and enhancing social ties between users of the site. School leaders could use Twitter to enhance their professional knowledge, via a broad pool of experts and expertise. 

“Leaders on Twitter felt that its use helped reduce their sense of isolation, providing them with a sense of community, both online and offline,” the research paper states.

“Participating in Twitter increased educational leaders’ sense of belonging, thus reducing isolation and fostering a sense of specialness.”

One study cited found that most tweets from school leaders included a link to a website, mention of another Twitter user, or a hashtag, or retweeted someone else’s comments. This, the academics said, was a key indicator of “knowledge brokering” between school leaders.

School leaders are also able to use Twitter to celebrate the achievements of their communities, and advocate for their communities’ needs. They tweet announcements about school events, as well as community-development activities. 

Read more Heads: want to do well at the job? Go on Twitter 

Are you a prolific ‘tweeter’? Has it helped you? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin 

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