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Administration, Education, Leadership, Teaching, Technology

5 Reasons I use Twitter – (and you should too)

Twitter IconIt has been just over a year since I have been actively engaged in utilizing Twitter as a professional development tool.  In talking to other school administrators and teachers, it is apparent that there are still many misconceptions about Twitter and what it can offer educators.  Obviously, there have been many posts dedicated to the benefits of  social media in education, but I have decided to add my two cents.  Here are 5 reasons I value Twitter as a personal learning tool:

  1. Connections: we all know that education, teaching in particular, can be an isolated profession.  It shouldn’t be that way.  Twitter is an exceptional way to build a Personal Learning Network (PLN) and make connections to other educators all over the world.
  2. Personalization: by selecting individuals to follow, your PLN can be highly personalized to specific areas–i.e. school administration, science teaching, special education, math teaching, educational technology, etc.  This allows you to monitor a constant stream of information that is tailored to your interests.
  3. Immediacy: there is not a faster way to receive news and information than Twitter.  Professional organizations and media outlets have increasingly begun to rely on Twitter as a tool for disseminating information.  By following these groups, you can gain access to important news in the education field (as well as others), as it happens.
  4. Information: I have done more professional reading in the past year than at any point in my career.  Much of this is due to the links, book and blog references passed along in the Twitter stream.  Twitter also enhances individual efficiency–acting as a filter (based on individualization) for the vast amounts of information generated on a daily basis.
  5. Reflection: interactions with my PLN keep me in a near constant state of reflection.  Frequently, tweets cause me to question some of my current practices and serve to validate others.  As we know, frequent reflection is an absolutely critical component of school improvement and innovation.  Twitter interactions foster this type of reflection and conversation–healthy for educators at any level.

Bottom line: if you are not currently on Twitter, I would encourage you to create an account and get started.  If you need help, just attach the hashtag #edchat to your first tweet and ask–I guarantee you will receive a positive response.  Tweet on!

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About azjd

K-12 administrator, sports fanatic, bicycling enthusiast, and jedi in my own mind.

Discussion

14 thoughts on “5 Reasons I use Twitter – (and you should too)

  1. Thanks Jeff.

    I’ve started using twitter, but for the most part have felt like it is a one way tool (feed reader-esque) I’m hoping to put some of your suggestions to use.

    Pete

    Posted by Pete Rodrigues | November 27, 2010, 10:44 pm
  2. Just curious what feedback have you received on the common misconceptions about twitter? I’m working on a list for an article as well.

    Posted by kaarenthompson | November 28, 2010, 1:58 pm
    • I think most of the misconceptions center around the notion that it would be difficult to convey information of any importance in 140 characters. Many don’t realize that links can be inserted.

      In addition, they see Twitter as a “one-way” tool – status updates, i.e. “this is what I am doing right now.” Twitter is such a powerful communication and networking tool…something you don’t really see unless you begin actively using it and stick with it.

      Thanks for reading Kaaren!

      Posted by azjd | November 28, 2010, 3:37 pm
  3. Thanks for this post. I was going to blog about the same topic – maybe I still will. Once I found other educators and organizations that I was interested in, Twitter became an important part of of my ongoing professional dialogue. My concern at first was that a lot of “gurus” end up just talking to themselves and I felt “left out” of the conversation … and then I found others who were happy to engage in discussion … most through #edchat. I’m hooked again.

    Posted by Hyacinth | November 29, 2010, 2:54 am
  4. Whenever I bring up twitter or its usefulness at school, I get funny looks from staff.

    Posted by ryan | February 16, 2011, 1:21 pm

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