Twitter for Professional Development

Posted: September 15, 2016 in Uncategorized

Participating in Twitter is not a new experience for me.  I first joined Twitter a few years ago when I started the Edtech Program at Boise State.  I heard about it through various friends and my first professor, Jackie Gerstein, who is now one of my last professors, and the one of the most valuable professors  I had at BSU.  Jackie’s passion for social learning had me curious and excited to learn something new. I wanted to dive into the Twitter world right away, but I was nervous when I had an issue with my account due to a Spam link.  I was hesitant after that for a while, but slowly I became more aware and curious about Twitter again.  I was lucky to find a great network to follow, and have quite a few followers myself, except that I was unreliable.  I would Tweet many resources that I found helpful one week, and then disappear for a while.  I always returned, but you could not rely on my presence in your PLN.  I want to change this habit, renew my love of Twitter, and keep in mind why I joined in the first place. I want to soak up as much professional knowledge as possible, while also contributing what I can to help others.  This assignment, which required us to follow 5 hashtags, was a great way to jump into social learning again.  Here is a list of the hashtags I chose to follow:

#edchat- this is a great group of people who share ideas, questions, answers, and resources within the field of education.

#STEM- I am an advocate of teaching STEM in school classrooms of all ages. This group shares resources and knowledge about how to incorporate STEM into your classroom and school district.

#edtech: This is my professional passion…edtech.  This group is perfect for me to continue learning how to infuse technology into my classroom and also share what knowledge I have gained over the years at Boise State and in my district.

#plbchat:  I love to infuse project based learning assignments within the curriculum and this hashtag gives great resources to various websites and resources that help me incorporate more pbl instruction.

#gafe:  I am a Certified Google Educator, helping my district with Google training needs.  This hashtag has many great methods of teaching using Google Apps for Education.  I learn new ways to use Google Apps and get ideas on how to incorporate Google Apps into my lessons.

#ntchat:  Although you cannot see this hashtag on my Tweetdeck photo, it is definitely there.  The new teacher chat seems odd for me to belong to after 24 years of teaching, but I feel I can learn so much from new teachers.  They are full of ideas and new training.  I also think being a seasoned teacher makes me a good person to share experiences and resources.

Some of the resources that I have gained access to from the people in these networks are:

Schoology from #edchat.  Schoology is a learning management system.  I have been looking for a place to host an online or blended classroom.  I enjoy watching my students grow and learn proper netiquette through the use of collaborative online learning . My school hosted Moodle for this purpose, but we no longer have access to this resource. Schoology seems like a great possibility for the future.

Google Classroom Tutorials was a great find for me.  I intend to utilize Google Classroom this year with my fifth grade class, and I could use a refresher on how to attach assignments to more than one class, how to schedule assignments for the future, and how to give a each student a copy of a document.  I like to refresh my skills before I actually use a resource within my classroom in order to concentrate on training the students on how to use the new technology.

Back to School with Google Chrome was another great find following the #gafe hashtag.  There are tutorials and Google Cheat Sheets to use with training students and faculty, as well as video tutorials to use in the classroom and at professional developments.

I find that using Twitter as a form of just-in-time professional development is an absolute must for me and I recommend it to all my colleagues.  I can learn so many ways to enhance my teaching and I can do this at my own convenience.  Many PD experiences given by my school district prove helpful but are not always what I need for my particular classroom experience.  It is impossible for a school district to provide PD that is a one size fits all experience.  There are limited resources and time throughout the year.  Twitter provides resource topics that I choose to participate in at any time throughout the year.  I can learn as little or as much as I choose each and every day, 24 hours a day.  This is a convenience no one should live without.  The possibilities are endless and readily available.  I expect that I convinced at least one teacher to try Twitter and see what works for them.  I am sure he/she will be pleasantly surprised by the results.  I would appreciate hearing your comments about how Twitter has enhanced your professional learning. Please feel free to leave a response to this post.



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