Sunday, August 24, 2014

You Have a Twitter Account...Now What

As I returned to school this year, it seemed that our district underwent a Twitter transformation. It seems every administrator now has a twitter account. They are posting quotes and are communicating the happenings in their buildings to the public. All of this is great...they are controlling the message and image for their buildings. Because these principals are now on Twitter, I am seeing a greater number of teachers getting Twitter accounts....and this is great! Teachers are now sharing what is happening in their classroom and controlling the message. Others are not defining their classrooms...they are taking the lead. But now what? Is that all a Twitter account can do? Absolutely not!

While all the above uses of Twitter are great, they only scratch the surface of what teachers and administrators can do with a Twitter account. Twitter gives you a key to a whole new world of professional learning and collaboration.

So if you are new to Twitter, I challenge you to do one or more of the following:

- Find educators and educational leaders outside of your district to follow on Twitter. An outsider's perspective can help us look at resources, problems, and issues in a different way. This different perspective can give us new ideas to try with our students and staff. This can provide a great growth opportunity! Not sure how to find people to follow on Twitter? See the video below.

- Use Twitter for more than a resource grab...converse with someone. Talking, arguing, and discussing ideas and topics only make us more knowledgeable. Collaborating with others makes our instruction and leadership more effective. Twitter is more than one way is a 24/7 discussion forum that is waiting for you. Don't be shy. Ask a question. Add a thought. Dare to disagree with someone. All of these interactions will lead to growth.

- Participate in a Twitter chat. There are chats happening everyday on every type of topic. Chats are organic and they rely on the participants to create a rich experience for all users. If you are not sure, just sit back and watch. Then when you are ready, jump into the discussion. Check out this schedule to see when these Twitter chats are happening. Not sure how to even participate in a Twitter chat...see the video below for one way to participate.

Twitter is your opportunity to make professional development your own. You choose who to follow. You choose when to read. You choose what you learn. Isn't that what professional learning should be? 

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