I know that to some degree I am late to the Twitter game. Educators have been using twitter and creating hashtags like #sschat #edtech and #edchat for years. Yet, while I have had a twitter handle for two years, I mainly used it to read news and connect with friends, former students and family. I tweeted links to articles, pictures on instagram of my four munchkins, and other links I found interesting.
Yet, I was missing the proverbial boat. Twitter is an invaluable tool for educators as I discovered this fall when my students needed to create timelines and xtimeline was no longer functioning as it had in the past, and one of my colleagues advised me to tag my tweet with #sschat. I received many useful tips and alternative tools to use in our American Studies class.
Since that first tweet, my eyes have been opened to the endless possibilities and professional tips that educators on twitter provide every moment. Some of the greatest tech discoveries I’ve made have occurred via twitter. I heard about learn.ist, socrative, todaysmeet, and muraly all on twitter. I’ve gotten fantastic ideas and material from fellow teachers that I’ve incorporated into my lessons all from people I follow. Recently,
@jeremyneely, an American history teacher from Missouri who I followed tweeted this picture of a Klan wedding from 1926 that went directly into a Prezi I was creating on the complex racial issues of the 1920’s.
I am lucky to work at a school that prioritizes professional development both by providing valuable inservice training and allowing us to pursue our own professional goals by attending conferences and taking classes, but twitter has been the best professional development I’ve experienced. So, if you aren’t on twitter yet or you are only using it sparingly, here is my advice. Get on twitter; Begin following master teachers like
@DebMeier, @mikeherrity or @mseideman and professional organizations like @Edudemic @ASCD, @21stCenturyTch, @CESNationaland @SHEG_Stanford. Figure out which #hashtags to follow and search for them.
In an age when our time is at a premium, twitter is one investment that I guarantee is worth it. It will inform, strengthen and deepen your appreciation of the world of teaching and provide you with invaluable connections and resources. Feel free to follow me
@Mamarobertson4. I’d love to continue the conversation and I promise to follow you back:)