In April 2012 @RondaCBaker said, “Do you know what the greatest professional development is for me? …Twitter.” I was shocked at first, assuming only Kim Kardashian fans interested in what sandwich she is currently eating would use Twitter. Up to that point I had been social-media-phobic. But it turns out, she was 100,000,000% correct. Joining the vibrant educator community on Twitter has been life changing. I’ve made tons of edu-friends, connected on important issues, and felt more in touch with the heartbeat of education in the USA and abroad more than ever before.
I would love for you to join me on Twitter, and the tons of educhats I spend way to many hours on. Link to my account is on the side of the blog, or here.
The most essential piece of being connected is not just watching twitter (or “lurking” in twitter-ease), but retweeting, replying, and just generally connecting with other educators.
- Think of twitter as a party of really smart people, not a conference. You may not always be able to keep track of the room full of conversations, but you can stand next to a a few people talking and “listen.” Or strike up a conversation yourself.
- A great place to start for all things edu-twitter is here: http://cybraryman.com/twitter.html, @Cybraryman1 ‘s page of “Twitter for beginners” and a list of active twitter chats.
- Join educator twitter chats (see that page) or just pay attention to people using pound signs (“hashtags” in twitter-ease), even feel free to reply to someone “what is #engchat?” And they’ll let you know if it’s an on-going, non-time specific marker, or a one hour chat, or a conference, or just a spoof hashtag they added for fun.
- For live twitter chats (the one hour ones), I recommend using tweetchat.com. It helps control the insane rush of responses and automatically includes the hashtag.
Here is my post on TweetChatting for beginners: So You Think You Want to Tweet Chat: From Lurker to Chatter 101.
- I personally love #engchat, Monday nights. As well as #educoach on Wednesday nights. And #edchat happens twice on Tuesdays, I jump in when I can. But there are so many opportunities to connect with people thinking and talking about the topics that matter to you.
It takes more than a village to raise a child, it takes a connected world. I hope you’ll join in this vibrant and growing community.