Is Twitter encouraging a type of ‘Arab Spring’ within Education?


Is education's future getting brighter?

This interesting thought occurred during a conversation today.
Are we living through a process whereby social media is finally breaking down
some of the traditional divides that have kept education transformation
suppressed? I suspect we are.

What is twitter managing to do?

  • Break down the barriers that have made it
    difficult for teachers from different sectors to meet , collaborate and talk
  • Spawn new grassroots movements such as Teach
    Meets where teachers from any background can freely share ideas
  • Enable quick transfer of outstanding ideas and
    practice to anyone interested
  • Gather a new educational tribe, one that has
    education and vision ahead of administration, policy or politics
  • Challenge people to accelerate the change
    process at their respective institutions
  • Enable easy access to educational visionaries
    from all over the globe
  • Highlight where government policy is hopelessly
    inadequate across the world
  • Bring together people who share a common passion
    for seeing students fully engaged in their learning
  • Enable thought leaders to bounce their ideas with
    a  speed and strength previously
  • Demonstrate that educational analysis can reflect
    current dialogue, not articles that surface a year after a conversation

I personally feel that the main blocker when it comes to changing practice is not the teacher, rather judgement and/or prejudice that has suggested that the education debate needs to be about public versus private, not passion and engagement. That debate has done enormous damage to the cause of education around the world. It has marginalized the passionate educators, thwarted productive conversation and allowed governments to be side-tracked into thinking that education is all about funding and budgets, rather than vision and opportunity.

I really hope that Twitter and other forms of social media will keep breaking down the walls of separation – and usher in a new educational era and tribe united around vision and hope.

Join the tribe. Be the change!


  1. Thomas Ho said:

    What I find so disheartening about the “Arab Spring” metaphor is how it characterizes government as the oppressor. I’m afraid it’s TRUE! 🙁

    February 6, 2012
  2. Scott McLeod said:

    An interesting analogy. I don’t see any massive social-media-facilitated educator uprising yet, though. Can’t wait for THAT to occur!

    February 7, 2012
  3. Happy Jay said:

    What a shallow analysis. What about some rigour in the educational debate? Twitter is twitter. As Brian said “I am not the Messiah”. Get real.

    February 7, 2012
  4. Twitter and all different social media is just cool platforms for old school threaded discussions which are a hallmark of quality online learning for years and for the last 15 years should have included in any pre-service teacher ed program. The public verus private debate has been a distraction from making education progress for the last 12 years and has allowed for the “same old, same old” to continue. It does not matter if the education that is delivered is through public or private channels as long as it is quality.

    February 13, 2012
  5. Anthony Mooring, M.Ed said:

    Interesting point twitter can be a powerful way to communicate ideals and thought about education and and reforms in education…but but words without action are just words… getting like minded people together to push an agenda forward is a movement….and twitter can be a start…but action must be put in place also.

    June 15, 2012
  6. […] Under veckan har jag snubblat över två artiklar som diskuterar hur Twitters håller på att ändra dagens utbildning. Som många vet så har man sätt hur sociala medier spelar en central roll i ”den arabiska våren”. Men det sker också en ständig utveckling inom pedagogiken, nu med hjälp av exempelvis Twitter. Orsaken är att idéer delas enkelt och smidigt med människor över hela värden (inte bara kollegan på skolan), man tar del av tips och idéer från pedagoger från hela värden (inte bara kollegiet på skolan). Två artiklar som diskuterar frågan är skriven av Justin Marquis Ph.D.  och S. Harris […]

    September 21, 2014

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