As I write this post, I am thinking about fellow educators, but the information provided would really apply to anyone!
I will be the first to admit that I was skeptical about Twitter at first. I really didn’t see what all the fuss was about. I think it is safe to say that Twitter does not get the best coverage in the media. It’s really not about “What are you doing?” right now, but “What are you doing?” in a broader sense. I read a great article in “Learning and Leading with Technology”, and it really got me interested in the entire PLN (personal learning network) idea.
So, I took the plunge and joined Twitter. I didn’t actually know anyone else who was already on Twitter, so I started searching first in Twitter for people to follow. Since I am a science teacher and a bit of a space nerd, I look for things related to teaching science, NASA, and space. I soon added some people to follow. Then I took my search broader and googled educators who use Twitter. This led me to some sites where teachers list their details on Twitter. Twitter4Teachers was a great place for me to find like-minded educators. I also found out about Mr. Tweet, and followed him. My first set of recommendations was filled with cool tweeps (Twitter people) to follow.
I also looked at who the people I followed were following. Over time, I added new people, and they added me. Now, I have an incredible PLN of educators, scientists, and tech savvy individuals who are passionate about what they do. Besides the educators I follow, there are some amazing people at NASA who really give an insider’s view. This is something that really excites me!
So, why should you Twitter? First of all, let me warn you that it can take a few days or weeks to really get hooked on Twitter – but once you do – watch out! It’s addicting to have such a huge network of people to bounce ideas around together. You will also learn cool new things and get great new ideas from the people you follow. The interaction is also a huge amount of fun. Sometimes we get stuck in the way our something is done within our school, district, or State. It’s great to get a larger perspective on an issue and see how other institutions do the same thing.
Finally, the camaraderie is amazing. Even in my school, where I have a great team of colleagues to work with, I sometimes feel isolated. Twitter helps you remember that many other people are doing the same thing as you every day. You are expanding your reach and your network.
So, give Twitter a try. I highly recommend it. If you get stuck or have questions, please feel free to ask – and make sure you follow @janellewilson!