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#Kapow! by @TeacherToolkit

This is a short and simple blog to explain the reasoning behind my Kapow tweets.

Most of the readers who visit my blog, come here specifically to read idea about teaching and learning. This blog however, is more about social media and the bridge between Twitter and the blogging world. Some of you who follow me on Twitter, may be wondering why on earth I tweet the following image and Twitter message, so I thought I would offer a short explanation.

Kapow Cartoon trollKapow!” ()


The school holidays offer me an opportunity to perfect on the term gone by, as well as take time out from teaching and blog on other topics such as this.

The reason for Kapow stems back to many, many months ago (if not years), when I started to receive troll attacks from various bloggers and tweeters. This was around the time when I first published my book in September 2013 and after a spat with the TES which led me to start sharing my own resources on my own blog; as well as selling the occasional resource in March 2014.

When I started to share my blogger journey, people started to listen and ask for my advice. Although, I am very happy to do this, I am yet to share all the awful tweets and blogposts with anyone, that I have collected over the past 2-3 years from many trolls up and down the country (and I have collected them all); it never ceases to amaze me the people who can be so vitriolic. But, I guess any person on social media is susceptible to criticism in one form or another …

If I did decide to share this information, it would be a very interesting read for most who regularly read my blog. I hope the day never comes where I need to share this information.

I appreciate that my self-promotion may irk some, but believe it or not, I always started out as a blogger to reflect and share. I never though I would write a book. I never though I would be able to sell my own resources. I never though I would drive such a huge audience to my blogposts. And the danger of having such a large audience, is that one tweet (with a link to products or books) or a blog such as this, cannot please everyone and I know this very clearly.

Even if you do not believe it, online has now become a new-found form of self-expression. I happen to be pretty good at using ICT to help others and I will always remind those that read my blogs and tweets, that I once started out with just one follower and just one blog reader too! My intentions were to blog for myself and nobody else, and this social media advice will always be my top tip to others … It is only now that I am really starting to see the other benefits of having a large online presence and readership, that I far more aware of what is said and read. After-all, trolls can lead to good things and open doors.

I also know I have a responsibility.


So, why the Kapow tweets?

Kapow is an aide-mémoire to myself and to those closest to me that know me personally, that each and every time I post a Kapow tweet, it is a visual reminder to all that a) the trolls will never quell our passion for sharing what we enjoy doing, teaching and learning and b) a two-finger salute from me, that @TeacherToolkit has just accumulated another 1,000 followers on Twitter.

And that’s it. Simple. One troll versus thousands and thousands of positive voices.

Kapow Trolls Blogging Twitter


I have blogged about trolling before, so I won’t dwell on the issue much more than I have to.

In my experience, there appear to be three types of social media dispositions:

  1. Group A: Those who are genuinely tweeting to share ideas, who engage in discussion, seek feedback and critique.
  2. Group B: A minority not willing to engage in healthy discussion. Most often, lacking impartiality.
  3. Group C: Trolls, who are a tiny minority. In all cases, report them and screenshot the information; the account will disappear in a matter of days. A definition of a troll is here.

In terms of teaching, trolls are more-often-than-not, anonymous accounts who seek to trouble tweeters in group A, who conceivably belong to group B. The difference is, is that they often – but not exclusively – tweet from an anonymous point of view to be provocative. Regarding anonymity, I’d highly recommend it to new tweeters who wish to share their views on education, and possibly the views of work in their own school. Anonymity is a good thing and in my opinion, ensures that we all keep our heads out of the sand and address what really does go on in schools. There is a very interesting article here, putting it all into context:

“At its most basic level, trolling is what everyone is doing online every hour of every day, and what many others had done long before the internet era.”

You can read 20 Something Betters at the bottom of this blogpost, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.


About @TeacherToolkit

Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, a Twitter account which soon evolved into and rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on Twitter in the UK'. He is an award winning teacher and experienced school leader who curates one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK'; Onalytica ranks McGill's blog as one of the 'Top-50 Ed-Tech Brands on Education' across the world! In 2015, he was nominated for '500 Most Influential People in the Britain' by The Sunday Times and one of the most influential in the field of education. He is a former Teaching Award nominee for 'Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School in London' and has also written 3 books on teaching.


5 thoughts on “#Kapow! by @TeacherToolkit

  1. Thanks for the link to Twitter info. I have recently started and feel quite lost!

    Posted by teachezwell | April 10, 2015, 2:30 AM
  2. Dear Ross, just a brief message of support. Horrified to hear about the trolling. Fools! I look forward to every email (haven’t made it onto twitter, yet!) as a source of inspiration, psychological comfort and professional reinforcement. I haven’t got round to saying thank you up to now, so, THANK YOU!!! Huge respect to someone who can look after the needs of his own school and his own students and still have time and energy to help me with mine.

    Posted by form3infrance | April 12, 2015, 3:21 PM
    • Dear Andy. That is very kind. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. Lovely to know that when I blog alone at home, it is useful to so many others. Good to know I’m also not alone in thought. Best wishes. Ross p.s. And get on Twitter!

      Posted by @TeacherToolkit | April 12, 2015, 7:07 PM


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