I have read many posts on others’ blogs about why we should use Twitter. I will say that Twitter is largely responsible for me starting this blog. I first joined Twitter a few years ago while attending a conference and hearing the keynote talking about it. Then I got some followers that looked questionable and was put off.
In the past year, I’ve made an effort to better understand the value of Twitter for me. I began to occasionally tweet, thus earning me some more followers. (Fortunately, these were more connected to my interests.)
Here are some reasons why Twitter works for me:
- I gather resources for the teachers with whom I work. As a result of that, we had one teacher connect with a class in Greece for a Skype experience last spring. That certainly enhanced the learning in class- on both sides of the ocean! I told another teacher about an idea shared by a Twitter friend, @grade1, which resulted in this great project, put together by first and second graders.
- I extend my experiences to other educators in our schools- and one teacher has embraced Twitter as well. She has connected with a number of different educators around the globe and even collaborated on a Voicethread project with a teacher in Texas last spring.
- I have expanded my list of contacts and connections- to include people all over the world. Many of these connections feel like true friends to me, despite the fact that we’ve never met in person.
- I get regular support, encouragement, and questions answered.
- I receive on-going, regular professional development whenever I desire.
- I’ve participated in a few chats and gained more connections, knowledge, ideas, and resources.
- I connected my Twitter account to my Diigo account and can now automatically save Twitter favorites in an efficient manner.
That’s just the beginning. No, I’m not always able to stay tuned to all that’s happening on Twitter. I not able to check it regularly on most days. During these early days in the school year, I barely remember to have lunch and suddenly the day is over. But somehow, I make time to check in and truly feel comforted by the fact that it’s there for me and hopefully I’m there for others as well.
I often find myself saying, “Oh, I heard about that already on Twitter.” or “Yes, I got that resource already, on Twitter.” My colleagues and peers encouraged me to share my learning about this incredible social media tool with other educators. I offered a workshop at a local educational technology conference in Vermont, Dynamic Landscapes, last May. I facilitated two in-service workshops on Social Media a few weeks ago, with a focus on Twitter and Diigo.Here’s a Livebinder I put together with resources, mostly collected on Twitter, about Twitter in Education. Hopefully it will help some of you.
Hopefully, my learning and teaching is as helpful to others as much as it’s been so for me. This is a tool I can’t do without. The question is… why aren’t all educators using Twitter?