Time is always a valuable commodity. Hence hours and hours of professional development on a wide variety of topics that may or may not directly pertain to you can get a bit tedious at times. So I always love professional development that caters to my interests. The best 10 minutes of professional development I get a day come from Twitter! Yes, in less than than 140 characters other professionals educate me. Sadly I’ll admit because I can filter the tweets I am interacting w/ sometimes I get more out of 10 minutes of tweet feed than I do out of hours of professional development locally (sorry administrators).
Twitter allows you to follow those whose tweets carry information that pertains to you. No fluff, no extra stuff, no wasted time on logistics, just the meat and potatoes! I love following hashtags to see what is churning with educators. They share resources, tweet about great reads, offer opinions on education, policy, and progress (or the lack there of). They share their successes, their failures, and their latest crazes. In other words, Twitter allows educators to open their classroom doors up and invite educators from all over the world to share and collaborate with one another for free. Hot diggity dog, sign me up!
Ok, so you may be intrigued now, but don’t know who to follow? Search for your co-workers. Some of them might not have the time of day during school to share but are pretty prolific on Twitter. Interested in learning more from teachers in your same grade level? Explore Twitter4Teachers and add a few of the teachers in your grade level or take a peek at Twitter for Teachers, the eBook. If you want a few recommendations to follow I will kindly throw out a few, but mind you if you follow me (mkhalcott) you will be able to peruse all the people I follow and see for yourself whose Tweet feed is up your personal alley and whose is not.
- Peter Pappas
- Tom Whitby
- Sheryl NussbaumBeach
- Kevin Honeycutt
- On the ClassroomWall
- Gary Stager Ph.D.
- Vicki Davis
- Joyce Valenza
- Jerry Blumengarten
So what’s with the pound sign? Tweeters steer their tweets to a certain audience by adding hash tags to their tweets. Hashtags are followed by short, sweet topics that will enable people to search for tweets on a give topic. For example, yesterday Twitter was flooded with tweets pertaining to the pope. If I search the word pope tons of tweets would pop up for me to peruse. Why not give it a try, type in a topic you are interested in and see what tweets catch your eye?
Recommended Hashtags to Follow:
- #ccchat (common core)
So in honor of doing what I say I jumped on Twitter today for 10 minutes and this is what I learned:
1) I found a super blog post about gaining parental support for technology endeavors at schools. It was recommended by Tom Whitby I skimmed it and found the blog to be a solid read for later. I tucked that blog on my RSS feed and skimmed on.
2) I helped another educator who was modeling the power of Twitter to a group of educators. He asked for tweets to his group and I obliged. Not only was I learning, but I also helped others learn in under 10 minutes.
3) I got a reminder from another Tweeter that today is Pi day! I also learned that Pi Day is Albert Einstein’s B-day! What a great piece of trivia to share in my classroom! This considerate tweeter even linked to the wikipedia information on Pi.
4) I gathered a great tip from Tony Vincent. Who shared a great idea for writing prompts that I had never considered before. Why not use QR codes and allow students to roll a QR cube to select a writing prompt. I can’t believe how much more fun a mystery prompt would be!
5) I found another must read on the Common Core. Peter Papas shared an online article about how the implementation of the Common Core has increased the ability to create interdisciplinary lessons. I found this article engaging and will save it for our next curriculum committee meeting.
So in ten minutes or less, I found a new idea, several must reads, and some great facts to use in my classroom. If I got 5 great things in less than 10 minutes, so can you! Why not dive into Twitter today?