I will never forget the day I was told to create a Twitter account at work. I was a little confused as to why I needed one and how “social media” was going to be useful in education. I kind of thought it was going to be a waste of time. I wasn’t sold on the idea and wasn’t sure how much I would use Twitter for educational purposes.
Fast forward 2 years later. I use Twitter daily. I don’t use it the same way as I do Facebook. Facebook is social – a way to connect with friends, family, and classmates who live near and far. But, Twitter is part of my Professional Learning Network. Connecting with someone on Twitter is not like friending someone on Facebook. It’s much more. I have made connections world wide. I love knowing that I can tweet a question, post an idea, participate in a chat, and learn from my colleagues with ease.
Twitter has also allowed me to connect with authors that I admire. I follow @burgessdave, author of Teach Like a Pirate, @joykirr, author of Shift This, @awelcome, Kids Deserve It co-founder, @aaron_hogan, author of Shattering the Perfect Teacher Myth, and my favorite – @gcouros, author of Innovator’s Mindset. These amazing educators will tweet, message, and chat with you!
Participating in a Twitter Chat is so easy and worthwhile. I jump in chats all of the time. You don’t have to be “invited”, you just have to find a conversation that inspires you. I have learned about so many different aspects of education in chats. If you’re nervous about actually posting in a chat, you can be a “lurker” and just follow the conversation. No one will even know you are there! I had the honor of hosting a Twitter Chat for Cumberland County Schools this month. It was an amazing experience. The collaboration was phenomenal.
I still encounter teachers who don’t understand the power of Twitter. And to them I ask, what in the world are you waiting for? Create an account, get a handle, and follow some worthwhile hashtags. You will be amazed what is waiting for you on Twitter!
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter – @lsj914!