It’s another Sunday evening. The dishes are done and we are winding down after a busy weekend. Before planning for the week, I check in with my PLN to see what they are sharing. Tweetdeck makes it easy to follow the ongoing conversations about learning.
I quickly scan the postings and in my #edchat column, I click a post with a link that takes me to a page listing administrator blogs to follow. I’ve read some of them before, others are new to me.
I click on Pair-a-Dimes, a blog I have not read in a long time, and posted there is David Truss’ presentation for the K-12 online conference: Transforming Education Together. While viewing his VoiceThread, I hear some very insightful comments about how to encourage and support teachers in moving from knowing they want to use educational technology, to actually using it.
The common thread? Having a PLN supports teachers to take the plunge and start using educational technology in the classroom.
While thinking about how much support I have received from my PLN on Twitter in my own learning about technology, a few email messages arrive from my OntCLC colleagues, outlining why connection on Twitter is important to them.
Shannon Smith (@shannoninottawa)(http://shannoninottawa.com/) says “Connecting via twitter to a global network of individuals from a variety of backgrounds exposes me to thinking I would not otherwise access. It pushes my own learning in directions I might not anticipate and it provides me with a wealth of resources and experts to tap into when I need it. It is just on time personal and professional development that is highly personalized. If we are going to lead learning communities that support students preparing for a future of rapid change and unknown possibilities, we need to learn how to navigate the world of digital connections ourselves”.
Mark Cabone (@markwcarbone) shares this message: “In many ways, Twitter provides an important pulse on the educational world. I find it keeps me in touch with a broad range of educators (beyond my Board) – gives me insights as to issues, challenges and current thinking about classroom practice. It
also provides a way to connect with other leaders and change agents to stretch and challenge your thinking. I like the open sharing of resources, and blog reflections too. ”
Brian Harrison (http://www.connectedprincipals.com/contributors/brian-harrison) (@bharrisonvp, http://thesmalleroffice.wordpress.com/) states “Learning is a both a reflective and a social process. The connections I’ve made
through Twitter and my blog have become an important part of my learning; they have exposed me to the ideas and questions of colleagues and enabled me to express my thoughts and reflections in a manner that allows for feedback and discourse. I also appreciate the how many incredibly talented and dedicated classroom teachers use social media; I learn a great deal from my interactions with them.”
No wonder we all feel so strongly that supporting other educators to join Twitter is a priority!
There are many fantastic resources to guide educators into an online PLN and the opportunity for daily learning and connection on Twitter. If you are new to Twitter and ready to get learning, try the links posted below, and don’t be afraid to ask for support.
** Also click on “How To” Tutorials (above) for some great screencasts to get you started.
Twitter in Plain English: What is Twitter Anyhow? http://www.commoncraft.com/video/twitter
Twitter for Teachers (Ontario): http://twitterforteachers.wetpaint.com/
Advice for teachers new to Twitter: http://edtechpower.blogspot.com/2009/02/advice-for-teachers-new-to-twitter.html
Seven Ways to Find Teachers on Twitter: http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2009/03/seven-ways-to-find-teachers-on-twitter.html
The Ultimate Twitter GuideBook for Teachers
Why is the Fail Whale Smiling? http://www.slideshare.net/thecleversheep/why-is-the-fail-whale-smiling
Twitter Teacher: http://www.twitterforeducators.com/
** As you think about how you will use Twitter, Seth’s Blog is worth reading for thoughts on what is important in social media use: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/12/the-trap-of-social-media-noise.html
This presentation is a bit dated now, but it is an overview of the many reasons why Twitter can enhance your professional practice.
Adobe Connect presentation: Twitter for Teachers (Colin Jagoe and Donna Fry from Leading Learning 2009) http://live.virtuallearning.ca/fryll2009/