Twitter is both a great way of developing a PLN (Professional Learning Network) and an easy and convenient PD (Professional Development) opportunity.
With Twitter, I have been able to connect with many teachers I would not normally have the opportunity to communicate with regularly. Many of these teachers have been met at TeachMeets, chats (see below) or merely due to posting content that we have a shared interest in. My Twitter handle – @draketeach – has become an improvised business card that allows other teachers to easily contact and connect with me. Through these, my PLN now has hundreds of teachers, many more than would otherwise be the case, and there are other teachers out there with a PLN of thousands.
The other great use of Twitter has been as a PD opportunity. In the easiest sense, it allows teachers to quickly and easily share content with other like-minded teachers, through the use of hashtags (such as #edtech). However, the true power of Twitter as PD comes through ‘chats’, such as #ozcschat. Through these, teachers meet up regularly (once a month, once a week) and discuss topics within the realm of the hashtag. For example, the #ozcschat hashtag is for teachers of digital technolgies, while #AussieEd is for Australian teachers in general. Over the course of typically an hour, teachers will be asked a set of prompting questions, which invariably leads to very inspiring and educational discussions.
Overall, the power of Twitter as an educational tool cannot be underestimated, and I strongly encourage all teachers to embrace this technology.
For more information on Twitter chats:
- #ozcschat is on the first Tuesday of the month at 8pm AEST
- #AussieEd is on every Sunday 8:30pm AEST
- There is a great list of Twitter chats here: t34.ch/chats
And please feel free to connect with me @draketeach