Saturday, January 25, 2014

10 ways Twitter makes me a better educator

1). Twitter is the most powerful tool in helping me to take control and responsibility of my own learning. Twitter provides me what I want when I need it, which results in me not needing formalized PD to grow and develop. I am no longer dependent upon others for my learning and my growth, which is quite empowering.

2). I want to be able to share resources, links, images, videos, and information with my colleagues quickly and easily. Twitter enables me to share and allows me to be precise with my sharing to those who need information that is relevant to them. I've had colleagues ask me numerous times about how I'm able to find all these resources and then share them with them so often. I tell them that I don't find these resources... they find me.

3). Twitter allows me to share my ideas and share my thoughts on education with the masses. This results in me getting feedback and input from others, which then allows me to learn collaboratively from others with different viewpoints and different perspectives. My ideas now become the accumulated and adapted ideas of many with lots and lots of levels of revision/feedback.

4). Being actively involved in Twitter and other social media spaces gives me credibility when working with others on being 'connected.' Too often we have people who say we need to do something and we need to start doing something but yet they aren't doing what they are telling others to do. By being on Twitter, I can give first-hand experience and have the credibility to back up what I'm advocating.

5). Twitter allows me to develop and enhance my own personal digital footprint/brand. I've been contacted to speak and work with school districts as a result of my Twitter presence, and this in turn has helped me establish new contacts and new networks that have provided me opportunities that I otherwise would never have had.

6). In my district we are looking to continue conversations and move forward with a redesign of our assessment and grading practices. Twitter allows me to reach out to educators from across the globe to find others who have already been through this process to help us along our journey.

7). Twitter provides me timely, relevant, and up-to-date information about the hottest and most current trends in education. If you are like me, you don't have a ton of free time, but by spending 10-15 minutes a day I can get a quick snapshot of the most discussed topics and issues going on in education.

8). I'm able to connect with and learn from the most well-known and most current education experts. These folks used to be considered 'unreachable' unless your school/district was interested in ponying up a ton of money to have them come out and speak. Now you have virtually unlimited access to these experts who are more than willing to share their thoughts and ideas.

9). Twitter also helps me understand who I am as an educator. By tweeting out my thought and ideas, I have to really think about what I'm tweeting, which means I have to really know what I believe and what I stand for. Twitter pushes me to be more self-reflective and more aware of my beliefs toward education.

10). Lastly, Twitter gives me a boost of energy and inspiration and frankly reaffirms the work that educators all over the world are doing. For the most part, Twitter is a positive environment, and it's because of the good-spirited nature of educators, the Twitterverse is a hotbed for optimism, positivity, and the sharing of new and exciting ideas/approaches.

I'm not saying that you have to be on Twitter to be a great educator, but I can say without hesitation that if you are on Twitter, I can guarantee you will be better than you were pre-Twitter. Go ahead, give Twitter a chance... I think you may just like what you find.

Check out this '10 steps for educators new to Twitter' post for more information on how to get started using Twitter.

Happy Tweeting!