Honestly, I had tried to start a Twitter account a couple of years ago, but did not really "get it". Then when I took this job I saw many of the people in my position were on Twitter. Fast forward 5 months and here I am, loving Twitter! I follow 152 people and 132 follow me. Craziness!
Why use Twitter as an educator? Well, this is what I have found. The best PD I have had takes place within a 1 hour session, on my couch, in my PJs, and with a # (hashtag). Yes, PD on your couch! Hashtags break things into categories. You click on one and it filters all tweets that are using that same #. I take place in GAFE (pronounced like "safe", stands for Google Apps for Educators) chat every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month. I connect with other educators, get ideas for what to do with certain Google Apps, and get to share my own ideas. Then I come back and share those ideas with teachers. In one hour...twice a month...can't beat that.
I also follow educational publications and get some great articles. Then I follow programs we use and get to see updates that are being made. When I find out about Google Classroom updates, it is because of people I follow on Twitter.
Twitter can be used by teachers to have PLN (Personal Learning Networks) that can connect all over the world. If you connect with an educator on the other side of the world, possibilities are endless. You may even get to have a Skype or Google Hangout with a classroom in Australia! People are using Twitter to connect like this all the time!
Twitter is great for classrooms. Columbia Public Schools use them all the time to share out to their parents about upcoming events, what is going on in the classroom, photos (and now, video!), and reminders. It is a wonderful tool to connect with the community.
My goal is for at least one person per grade level to have a Twitter next year. Then maybe we can start getting the word out about how great it is! Who's in? Look for more information on Twitter in the coming school year. If you have a classroom Twitter, let me know so our school can follow you and so I can follow you!
Follow me at @HallsvilleTech.
Fifth grade teacher in a 1:1 iPad classroom, sharing my journey with technology in the classroom