Once I became an Instructional Technology Coordinator, I, sadly (at first), unfollowed the celebrity accounts and began following influential educators, educational resources, and a few software companies that were utilized within our district. It was during this time I began to realize there was so much more to Twitter than getting my fix of celebrity drama. I learned how to search hashtags to find resources on things like flipped classroom, flexible grouping, and blended learning. I followed DMPS to get a glimpse into the amazing things happening with students and teachers in our district. I tweeted about things that were going on in our department and in our schools. It was a whole new world, and I never knew I was missing it! (You don't know what you don't know, right?)
More recently, members of our ITC team have made a great effort to host weekly Twitter Chats. At first, I wasn't sure how it worked. I couldn’t comprehend how you could chat on Twitter and track responses, stay within the character limit, etc. My views quickly changed after participating in one. I learned the format of the chat and figured out how to respond efficiently to the chat and to other participants. I would enter the chat feeling tired, as they were in the evening. However, once the chats started, I felt energized. I enjoyed being able to share resources and ideas, collaborate on strategies, and ask questions to fellow educators.
I am amazed at the power of Twitter to enhance learning. How can we harness this power for students? How can we share this under-utilized platform with more teachers? There is no question that Twitter can and should be used in our classrooms and professional practices to extend learning, collaborate, and find resources.
*Feel free to leave a comment with suggestions on who to follow. In addition to several educators within our district and our schools, some of my favorites are @edutopia, @edsurge, @lexialearning, @MindShiftKQED, and @Getting_Smart