Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Power of Twitter

If you're anything like me, you kind of hate social media. I deleted Facebook back in college, explaining to friends that it just seemed like (a) a waste of time and (b) a brewing storm of drama.  So when people started mentioning Twitter as a good way to network, I laughed and rolled my eyes.

I first heard someone talking about how powerful Twitter was as a learning tool three years ago at the NVWP Language & Learning Conference.  The elementary teacher said she had met so many people and learned so many things, but all I could focus on was -- with a tweet? Are you crazy? 

Again this past March at the NYAR Conference in Savannah, Twitter was mentioned. "Our hashtag is..." "Make sure you quote @____" "Share everything you're learning!"  At this conference, I caved. I created a Twitter account because there was a contest and winning it required finding your mystery partner via Twitter. Being a competitive one, I had to at least try!  Yet I told friends who said "follow me!" that it was pointless, I'd be deleting the account as soon as I got back home.  

Fast-forward to this past week. I attended a TCRWP Homegrown Writing Institute  (is it becoming clear how many PD opportunities I like to take advantage of?) and again there was a hashtag for sharing learning.  Even more, there was a Twitter chat to discuss and share ideas!

I wanted to be a part of the chat and hear what all the TCRWP Staff Developers had to say, so I jumped in. That was Wednesday night. Since then, I've participated in two more chats and a webinar and received information being shared around the world! While I couldn't attend the All Write Summer Institute in Indiana, I felt like I might as well have been there! I followed the hashtag and saw pictures of the presentations, read quotes, and discovered new ideas.

So, here's how I would describe Twitter, if you're like I was just a few months ago...
It's like walking into a library filled with a bunch of really smart brains.
It's being at every PD conference at the same time.
It's reading books and discussing with the actual authors.
It's the most powerful brainstorming tool ever.

Teachers LOVE talking about teaching and sharing ideas/brainstorming problems when in person. Can you imagine how addictive it is when you start talking with other teachers, coaches, principals, etc. across the state, nation and world? 

Now, don't get me wrong. There are people who use Twitter in the same way as Facebook or post things along the lines of "I'm going to the store." "I'm getting in my car." "It's so hot outside."  But you choose who to follow and what you post.  When you make the decision to use the account as a professional learning tool, every tweet that shows up is something you want to write down in your notebook or try in your own classroom!

So friends, meet me on Twitter. I'd love to share ideas together!


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