It was some time in 2009 when I first heard about this new social media site, Twitter. Celebrities were joining left and right to share their thoughts with their thousands of “followers” (i.e. virtual groupies). I wanted to know what all the fuss was about, so I signed up. I lasted one day before I abandoned it….I obviously had better things to do than read updates from the Kardashians.
Flash forward to 2012, I finally realized that at some point in the past 3 years, Twitter became a virtual dynasty for education leadership! All of the experts in my field were on Twitter now and using it as a means to communicate with other teachers! I thought to myself, I’m a teacher! I need to be on Twitter! So, here I am, and here is my list of The Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Twitter:
1. It provides fast and frequent communication. I follow over 150 educators on Twitter. Needless to say, I am constantly receiving the latest news and trends in education from the numerous people I follow. I never worry about missing out on the most popular blogs or news stories because, rest assured, my Twitter feed will update me almost immediately.
2. Twitter is a community-builder. Teachers are all part of a professional community. Within our global community there are various networks which stem from multiple sources, including Twitter. Since re-joining Twitter in 2012, I have become part of several educators’ PLNs (world-wide!!) just by being a part of what is happening on Twitter. My PLN has also grown leaps and bounds!
3. Got free PD? Ever been part of a chat on Twitter? #Edchat, #Satchat, #Elemchat #SSChat are just a few of the many, many Twitter chats that are held each week. In these chats, educators come together to discuss some of the most notorioius and poignant topics in education. It is amazing what people bring to the table! These discussions can be so inspiring and informational, that sometimes (most times) it is better than any prof. development session you’ve ever attended.
4. I can connect with some of the greatest pioneers of my field. Laura Candler (@LauraCandler), Jonathan Bergmann (@jonbergmann) and Erin Klein (@KleinErin) were all names I had heard of many times before from my teacher friends. I have known of them for years as “leaders” in education, but I had never met them, heard them speak, or spoke to them. Now, however, I follow them and learn first-hand from their best practices that they share!
5. Sharing resources has never been easier. My job involves creating math games, activities, and other resources for educators around the globe. While posting them on my websites is easy to do, it doesn’t make teachers aware that they exist. Twitter helps me do that.
6. I am always learning new things! Thanks to the resources that my Twitter PLN share with me, I can safely say I learn something new every time I check my Twitter feed!
7. Hashtags. Thanks in part to Twitter, the cute transformation of the pound symbol (#) has completely altered the way we communicate in pop culture and daily life.
8. Twitter allows us to gain new insights and new ideas. I will be the first to admit that my personal philosophy of education has changed since the first day I connected with Twitter. It wasn’t one tweet or one day that changed my outlook, but the amount of information I have been led to that have opened my eyes.
9. K.I.S.S. (Keep it short & simple.) With only 140 characters allowed per tweet, a person is confined to what he or she can say. Some may think that is very limiting and hard to do. To them I say, “Good!”
10. Easiest way to communicate with students and parents. Twitter is an AH-MAZE-ING tool to use to communicate important news with students and their parents. If we all connect on Twitter, we can easily and efficiently communicate when needed, and create strongly-knit schools!
I still have a lot to learn about Twitter and everything it can provide for me on my professional journey. I hope that you’ll join me (@thatmathlady) on that journey so we can learn together!