Parents atwitter at what teens are doing on Twitter

Penny Rathbun/Staff photo Celina school district technology instructor Tisha Poncio, left, shows Celina resident Dana Racanelli the finer points of using Twitter on her iPad during a Twitter class this week. The class was held in a computer lab on the Celina High School campus. Poncio and district Technology Director Marilyn Chamberlin decided to hold classes for parents and community members when parents expressed an interest in learning what their children were doing when they used Twitter. Racanelli teaches sixth grade in Gunter.

CISD technology staff holds classes to teach parents to tweet

By Penny Rathbun

Hashmarks, tweets and social media are unfamiliar territory to many parents. They worry that their children are not getting a proper education if they spend all their time communicating in 140 characters or less.

To help parents through the social media maze Celina school district Technology Director Marilyn Chamberlin and instructional technology teacher Tisha Poncio decided to hold classes for PTA members and anyone interested in the community to teach people Twitter 101 and social media in general.

Poncio said she was pleased with the response from PTA members. The Twitter class was held at C-Town in the building that formerly housed Celina Middle School.

She and Chamberlin introduced parents to an overall view of Twitter, including basic instructions in establishing a Twitter account and tweeting.

“I hear parents saying I want to know more about what my kids are doing,” Chamberlin said.

Parents will accomplish that by participating in these technology classes. In a class held for community members Poncio walked students through setting up an account on Twitter and then how to determine who to follow. Choosing who to follow is a basic skill for using Twitter.

Twitter began as a networking computer tool in 2006 and quickly acquired millions of followers. Today a teenager without an intelligent phone and a Twitter account is like a teenager half a century ago whose family did not have a telephone.

Chamberlin and Poncio will be holding other classes on computer usage for parents and community members. The classes will be held about once a month during the school year either at C-Town or one of the computer labs at Celina High School.

Check the CISD website at for class schedules. The classes are free, but registration for the classes is required.

“This is important for all of us to be able to raise our kids and be in the know,” Poncio said.

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