Add Twitter to Your Teaching Toolbox

I’m a newbie to twitter (I’ve been playing with it for just a little over two months), but thoughtfully carried out as a learning and professional tool, it has led me to some great resources and articles. It can also be quite entertaining following disparate voices on education like Diane Ravitch and Bill Gates.

Today, for example, twitter led me to an opinion piece I missed in the nytimes this weekend about the high cost of low teacher salaries, or this post from TeachPaperless about authentic assessment. And if you don’t believe me, this short article in this month’s Education Leadership talks about many of twitter’s benefits both for schools and teachers. If done right, it’s not about what you had for lunch. Still, there’s nothing that beats meeting with someone face to face, and today I had a chance to meet with someone in the real world I live in, not simply the virtual world, and grow my professional learning network here where I live (I’m a real introvert and meeting new people is not something that comes easily to me. It’s clearly something I need to continue doing). It was a great meeting, and I learned a lot. It also reinforced how social media, if done thoughtfully can be a great learning tool. I also wish there were more teachers and educational leaders I could follow and potentially meet locally. So the question remains, how does one motivate other teachers to use a tool like twitter? Hmmm, maybe I just found a topic to propose presenting at our annual fall conference. Anyone want to do it with me?

On an unrelated note, it’s teacher appreciation day, and I just wanted to let all my colleagues how much I appreciate their effort in educating their students and the connections they make with them each day. I’d also like to thank my 7th grade teacher, who has been retired for a while. For whatever reason, she connected with me and ignited a passion for learning. A passion that hasn’t stopped. She taught me that beyond curriculum, standards, and high expectations (all of which she had), the connection a teacher makes with her student is what matters most. She made a noticeable difference in my life. I’m just glad I had a chance to thank her in person when I was first starting my career.

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