Your Path to Intentional Learning
Great teachers don’t rely on their district’s staff development training cycle to learn and grow in their craft. No! They intentionally seek staff development opportunities out. In the past, a teacher wanting to grow and learn would have contacted their local educational center, participated in a book study, taken a college course or met up with like-minded teachers. These are all still viable solutions!Great teachers don't rely on their district's staff development training cycle to learn and grow in their craft. Click To Tweet
But today, educators have a great tool at their disposal, Twitter.
I first understood the value of Twitter to grow professionally after listening to a presentation by Alan November. Side note – You only need to attend one of his presentations, like ever! He says the same thing every single time!
Basically, November said the power of Twitter was in following great thought leaders in your field. These great thought leaders are putting out great ideas, links to blog posts, videos, podcasts and resources that many times you can directly apply to your craft. For educators, Twitter is a goldmine for all of these opportunities!
I was recently asked to share some tips on using Twitter to grow professionally. I would like to share them with you here too!
Find Some Great Twitter Chats
Twitter Chats are one of the greatest ways that educators can grow professionally on Twitter. A Twitter Chat happens when Twitter users respond to questions tweeted out by a moderator. The questions are usually on a certain topic and followed by a hashtag (ex. #txeduchat). You learn as you respond to questions, but then read and respond to the responses of others. Many users will share out resources like I stated above.
I must warn you though! Twitter Chats go very fast and can be very overwhelming if you have never participated in one. For the new Twitter user, it is not uncommon to finish answering question one, only to find out everyone is on question three. Don’t worry or stress about that! People come in and out of Twitter Chats all the time.Twitter Chats are one of the greatest ways that educators can grow professionally on Twitter. Click To Tweet
If it makes you feel more comfortable, feel free to just lurk and read responses until you feel comfortable to jump in and start participating.
If you’re not sure where to find a Twitter Chat, the website Education Chats lists out a ton of education Twitter Chats by date, time and time zone.
And if you would like a video walkthrough on how to participate in a Twitter Chat, watch the video below.
Don’t Fill Your Twitter Feed with Junk
You can follow anyone you like on Twitter. But I highly suggest you don’t follow others that are not going to lend to your professional growth. For example, you can follow every single Kardashian on Twitter. But other than provide some entertainment and keep you up-to-date on the latest pop-culture ( which is fine if that is your thing), what actual value is there to your professional growth?
The more followers you add, the more cluttered your Twitter feed becomes. There are bots out there that will follow you to get you to follow them back. Then after you follow them, they will unfollow you. If you have a habit of following people who follow you, it might be a good idea to go through those you follow and unfollow those that are not really adding value to your PLN or Personal Learning Network.
Interact with Others
It might be a little intimidating at first, but the more you interact on Twitter, the better your experience and growth will be. When you interact, people will Tweet, and respond to you. You can have conversations and share ideas with people ALL OVER THE WORLD! It is not unusual to make great Twitter friends with others and finally meet them at an educational conference later in the year.
You’re not going to break your computer or phone or the internet by interacting or not interacting on Twitter. But if you don’t interact and utilize Twitter for professional growth, you are missing out on a great opportunity.You're not going to break your computer or phone or the internet by interacting or not interacting on Twitter. But if you don't interact and utilize Twitter for professional growth, you are missing out on a great opportunity. Click To Tweet
The things you can learn, the resources you can find, the people that you will interact with, will all help you become a better educator!