This is a reflection post as part of a Professional Development course our school is undertaking.
Another popular platform which I have seen many educators use for professional purposes is Google +. However, my tool of choice, and the tool which has made the biggest impact in my development as an educator, is Twitter. Here is why:
- It allows me to tap into areas of education that are relevant to me. A few years ago I used twitter to research current trends in #BYOT and #mlearning for tertiary study. Being able to find people and resources on this topic was invaluable.
- It allows me to connect to other link-minded individuals. Like-minded individuals who care about staying abreast with technology and their own educational development. Twitter has deepened my perspective on education and learning, and has connected me to blogs, nings, webinars and new tools that other tweeters share.
- It allows for a richer experience at conferences, teach meets, and other networked educational events. Sitting, listening and engaging with educators in a physical sense is one thing. But this is taken to a whole new level when your engagement with others becomes expanded in a digital sense. Being able to follow conference hashtags that one is not even attending is an experience in itself!
For me, twitter has impacted me as an educator in a major way since I started using it (@anthsperanza). I can honestly say that it changed the way I think about my own classroom, school, and teaching & learning practises. I am a firm believer in a collaborative approach to education. Twitter has given me access to an amazing network of educators, from all different sectors and walks of life.
Hoping to share my enthusiasm with my colleagues at school, I lead a presentation to staff in regards to twitter and it’s usefulness as a Professional Learning Network tool. There has been some take-up, albeit most of the behaviour seems to be sign-up, follow, lurk, and the odd update here and there (this is fine, as we all need to start somewhere and find our feet). I take comfort in the fact that these educators are starting to embrace the truth that our profession is not private, and that we don’t improve as individuals unless we share ideas and thoughts, and reciprocate on these.
After all, isn’t this the type of learning that we expect from our students?
In a previous blog post, I asked the question whether educators that are serious about educational technology are willing to utilise digital tools to connect themselves to online networks, to seek and take control of their own learning and development. For me, Twitter has been the perfect avenue.
Below is a list of resources that I think educators would find beneficial if they are looking to build their PLN on twitter:
- My presentation on Twitter – What’s in it for teachers and why should we care?
- Alan November’s list of Education Hashtags.
- How to guide – Building your PLN on twitter.
- 60 inspiring examples of twitter in the classroom.
- Thought provoking post – Does twitter improve education?
- The relevance of twitter for educators.
- Are you ready for twitter?
- The ultimate twitter guidebook.
- Kathy Schrock’s guide to twitter.