Twitter as a source of Professional Development

I was really happy when I saw this module because I can say with hand on heart that the experiences I have had in just over a year of using Twitter have been transformational. Put simply, I am a better professional and teacher as a result of the things I have learned. If I can digress and put things into context a little. . .

Last year at this time I went to a PD day to listen to Will Richardson speak. He was inspirational in so many ways – especially with relation to social media. If you have never heard of him, and you are taking 543 you should look him up. Prior to that day, I had avoided Twitter with a venom. I assumed it was the haunt of those who could stand the Kardashians and other vacuous celebs. Watching TV journalism descend into, ‘who can read the most tweets’ was killing me!” So I stayed away. Big mistake – ignorance was not bliss.

I teach in an International school with pupils of over 60+ heritages. We use the UK and International curricula and we are connected with 20+ schools around the world who are in our group. We need to connect but in many ways we are an island in Boston  – a unique school in a unique educational environment. Twitter provided me with a way to connect.  Essentially I see it as advertising of ideas. You read something, create something, or have a question about something then share it. There is an anonymity and speed to it which makes it work well. There is a crowdsourcing aspect to it but also a ‘watch and see’ which works for me. I have gained so many good ideas in the last year. The down side is that you can follow too many people and have too much information thrown at you. Filtering is key.

Anyway, I have selected these 5 #’s to my TweetDeck for this module. #edchat #ukedchat #globaled #flipclass and #ipaded. They are not all new to me the first two are staples, but I can’t give them up. I have used ideas in my class that I have found directly on Twitter and had led CPD sessions in my school for staff who were interested.

Today alone I have found a source of some non-fiction apps for iPads, reflected on a growth mindset classroom which is a key component in raising standards and high performance learning in our school and read a blog post on iPads in Primary (elementary) education. All delivered to a screen in front of me. It is easy, convenient, flexible and appropriate for my needs. I am a convert. There are limitations, but why focus on them? For my whole career, teachers have talked about, ‘wanting to share’ and how, ‘talking to other professionals’ is the best PD. Twitter is one of the tools that makes that possible.

Tweet away.

A