I joined Twitter in March, 2009 but I can’t remember why. I didn’t make my first tweet until July, when I shared that I went for a run – and I remember thinking that I was silly for sharing it because my 10 friends probably didn’t care, nor would they see it so why the heck should I tweet. I didn’t make my next tweet until February, 2010. I followed friends and well known people for fun.
In May, 2011 with a shared love for technology and innovation, my colleague Cara Petrone Figliomeni (@MrsFig_11) and I put in a TLLP proposal to use iPads in our school to develop critical thinking in the arts, “iThink, iCreate, iLearn” and we went to Toronto to learn about our TLLP (Teacher Learning and Leadership Program). I left the conference to attend the 2011 ASET Spring Conference in Niagara Falls, where Dr. Alec Couros (@courosa) was the Keynote Speaker. Listening to Dr. Couros at the Keynote and then again at his breakout session, I began to realize the value of using social media not just for fun, but also as a powerful learning tool, and I was hooked.
I began to follow other educators (through my introduction at ASET) and I began to realize how many amazing educators were willing to share practices and open their classrooms/schools/learning for anyone to see. Soon after following @courosa, I noticed that he was often tweeting and joking with @gcouros, so I followed him too – I have become a huge fan of both brothers – and have become a connected educator by following their lead and modelling.
Learning to use Twitter to follow other educators and to connect happened gradually, and it wasn’t until this spring that I really began to understand how isolating being a leader could be, and how there was a whole network of educators sharing and learning together. My ‘aha’ moment happened with another one of my favourite connected educators, Donna Miller Fry (@fryed) helped me finally narrow down my PQP practicum
Using twitter might not be for everyone, but if you start small, learn about it by talking to others and trying it out, I think you will be amazed at how you can connect, share and learn with over 241 million active users. Imagine what our students could learn, if we showed them how and why they could use twitter. If you missed it from the OSSEMOOC Day 5 post, check out Sue Waters “Guide to Tweets, Hashtags and All Things Twitter” to learn more.
Some amazing twitter follows that have impacted my learning can be found in lists that I created and am sharing with you:
If you are new to twitter and want to build your followers to learn with, check out my lists with twitter links to some great connections.
What is your twitter story? How has twitter impacted your learning? Not on twitter – have we convinced you to connect?