Monday, January 18, 2016

Why Twitter?

Twitter has been around for a while now and has become increasingly popular among educators.  So, Why Twitter?  For myself, I see Twitter as an opportunity. . .

An opportunity to Share Your Story:
Twitter gives teachers and others in education the opportunity to share the story of their classrooms, and the major accomplishments their students achieve each day.  It gives them a chance to show the world their dedication to improving the communities in which they serve.  I have the privilege of serving three schools in my district, and Twitter gives me the opportunity to share with others inside and out of our district, the creative learning that is taking place in the classrooms.  There are so many negative stories in the media about teachers and public schools, but spending five minutes on Twitter will give you a new perspective.  Through Twitter you see educators that are not only dedicated to student learning, but to their own professional learning as well.  In our district we recently rolled out a Professional Development called the PDChallenge.  Through Twitter we have been able to follow the "Challenges" teachers are completing and encourage them.  Take the Twitter Challenge for the opportunity to share your story!

An opportunity for Personal Learning and Growth:

Twitter is not just about showing off what is happening in your classroom, it is also about learning from the stories and resources that other people share.  You immediately grow your PLN by joining Twitter.  Need an idea or resources?  Just Tweet out and allow your followers to respond and share. Your Twitter Feed is tailored to fit your needs and interests because you choose who you want to follow.  Kasey Bell (@ShakeUpLearning) and Alice Keeler (@alicekeeler) are just two people I follow who offer great classroom resources and ideas.  Take the opportunity to learn with others through Twitter!

An opportunity to Follow Educational Leaders:
There are numerous Educational Leaders who utilize Twitter to share their stories and initiate educational change.  You can tap into their motivation, ideas and leadership by following them.   George Couros (@gcouros), Todd Nesloney (@techninjatodd), and TeachThought (@teachthought) are a few Ed Leaders I follow, but there are many more!  Use Twitter for the opportunity to follow Ed Leaders or share how you are a leader yourself!

An opportunity for making Global Connections:
Twitter offers the opportunity to learn with other educators and classrooms around the Globe. This past year I had the opportunity to participate in The Global Read Aloud with one of the classes I work with.  Twitter allowed us to follow an ongoing conversation and discussion about the book we were reading with classrooms across the globe. With Twitter you are no longer confined to a conference venue for learning, and you do not have to miss out on something amazing just because it is not located near you.  Simply make the connections and follow the conversation!

An opportunity for #TwitterChats:
Twitter Chats are another opportunity afforded to Twitter users.  A Twitter Chat is a global conversation that happens at a scheduled time to discuss a pre-determined topic.  A specified hashtag is used to allow Tweets to be filtered.  For instance, every Tuesday at 7:00 pm EST, there is a chat for all educators that uses #edchat as the hashtag.  There are numerous Educational Twitter Chats that happen every day.  Click here to find a schedule of educational chats happening.  Many chats meet at the same times each week or every other week.  It is a place you can go to discuss topics relevant to your curriculum or interest areas.  You can simply follow the feed or throw out your own ideas by Tweeting using the hashtag assigned to that conversation.  Take advantage of the opportunity to have meaningful conversations with other educators.