Do you often Google new ideas for your classroom, but you’re just not sure if they will work, or how to best manage the flow of the activity? Do you feel bored with the same lesson you’ve done for a particular standard and want a new idea? Enter the supportive and amazing educational world of Twitter!
Eight years ago, a DIF in my former county told me I really needed to be on Twitter. In my ignorance of what a powerful tool it could be to build my PLN, I declined, telling her I really didn’t need to know all the gossip being shared by strangers. And really, didn’t she realize how busy I was grading papers, writing lesson plans, and preparing for my students every day? I didn’t have time for Twitter!
Thankfully, I accepted her challenge to try it for 30 days, and since then, have been a part of one of the best educational networks in my career. I currently follow, learn from, and connect with over 1800 educators from around the world!
For those of you not familiar with Twitter, it is a social networking site that allows you to share ideas and thoughts in up to 140 characters with others around the world. The 140 character limit is perfect for educators since our time is valuable and we don’t very often wish to read long paragraphs of text. Ideas are short and to the point. You can also attach photos, short videos, and links as you share the wonderful things you are doing in your classroom!
Many of the technology integration ideas and tools I have come to love, I first learned about on Twitter. Teachers and others who work with kids on a daily basis share successes and difficulties which often allows me to hit the ground running, rather than tiptoeing in “will this work?” mode!
One of the best ways to dip your toes into the Twitter waters is to lurk during a scheduled “chat”. There are many weekly Twitter chats focused on various topics, grade levels, and/or subject areas. Those who participate engage in meaningful conversations similar to the EdCamp MCS recently held. The chats are organized by hashtag (#), so if you search a particular hashtag, you can see what everyone has shared. HERE is a calendar of many of the education chats being held. Pick one that seems interesting, get on Twitter at the appropriate time, and search the #tag to see all the great ideas being shared! You may even be drawn in and tweet out your own thoughts on the topic! Lurking in a Twitter chat is also a great way to find other educators with similar interests to follow. (Below is a screenshot taken during a chat.)
So, in an effort to introduce you to one of the best personal learning networks and some of the most awesome professional development you have experienced, I challenge you to join the educational side of Twitter (if you haven’t already). Just like my friend and colleague challenged me eight years ago, I ask you to give it a try for 30 days so you can see what a valuable learning tool it can be for you as an educator!
Your DIF can help you get started, and by “following” members of the DIF team (our Twitter handles are listed below), you’ll get a glimpse of many of the cool things happening in our schools right here in Moore County! Knocking down the walls of your classroom is a TWEET away! Give it a try!
DIF Twitter Handles
Deanna Boesch @deannaboesch
Kelly Priest @KRPriest
Beth Alderson @texteachBeth
TJ Martin @tmartin4726
Carrie Robledo @carrierobledo
Kim Collazo @kcollazo
Clint Rogers @clint_rogers21
Jill Snotherly @snotherlyj
Jilian Reynolds @JilianReynolds
Lee Ann Holmes @tlvfan
Will Herring @WillHerring16
Steve Johnson @edtechsteve
Moore County Digital @MCSDigital
Happy Tweeting ~ Kim