I know I have pushed Twitter before and some of the faculty made an effort to give it a try. You connected with each other, sent a few tweets, probably got tired of reading my tweets and ultimately, gave up on it. (not all of you) Today, I am making another plea for you to try it again. There is so much to be learned by connecting with other educators who have similar interests or teach the same thing you do. I have connected with hundreds of educators that really have helped me learn a lot about things I would have never considered. I have changed a lot of what I believe about education by interacting with others, and right from the comfort of my home or office. I know a lot of you use Facebook to socialize online. Twitter is different. It is leaner, faster, and can be filtered to specific content. I think so many people jump into the Twitter stream and get lost in the current and think it makes no sense, or they are so limited by who they follow that they think there is nothing of value being posted. I have heard others say they do not have time. It does not take much time at all to find something of value if you know how to look. I really think we are smarter together than we are when we go it alone. Think about how much you learn from your colleagues in the building. You can build a network of teachers online that can literally blow your mind with ideas and resources. They can come to your rescue when you need a quick answer to a technical problem. Twitter can be used as little as thirty minutes a week and you can still find value. You can find a specific content area to follow, check in to see the resources that have been posted, use what is valuable, toss the rest. My favorite way to use Twitter is by opening up the Twitter client called Tweetdeck. One of the folks I follow on Twitter(Josh Stumpenhorst or @stumpteacher) created this video:
If you want some help finding who to follow check out @cybraryman1 ‘s Building a Professional Learning Network page . On this page you will fine “tweeters” to follow categorized by teaching area and level. Very helpful. He has an entire page of resources for learning about Twitter here. I realize many of you will say you don’t want to spend the time to build your network on Twitter…but, I agree with George Couros….
I do not think there is an excuse to not try to learn how to make yourself better everyday. Jump in, what do you have to lose? You have a lot to gain. One last way to look at Twitter, if you do not want to take the time to cultivate your own network, is to view the Twitter stream of someone else using The Twitter Times. By clicking that link, you will be able to see the resources posted by the people I follow in a newspaper type format. These resources are not tailored to you. They are the resources I like to look at….you might find them useful. It is my morning newspaper with coffee everday. Enjoy!