I wrestled with the idea of creating a Twitter account for a while. I was unsure how it would work being a young teacher. I had a personal twitter account in college, but deactivated it during my student teaching. I first imagined that I would use Twitter to remind students of assignments and occasionally tweet about what was happening in class. Anyway I took the plunge and I am very grateful.
Build A Personal Learning Network (PLN)
I have been able to connect with many other educators on Twitter. In addition to the faculty at my school I now have an extended network of passionate educators to share ideas with and learn from. As a first year teacher I have many questions and am always looking to learn from others. Through Twitter I have been able to connect with great educators and have the opportunity to share our experiences together.
I have been blown away by the support that I have through my PLN. I am able to tweet a question and my PLN responds with answers! People have generously shared their lesson plans and ideas for challenging content. I have had members of my PLN share their success in their classroom and help me to implement successful strategies in my classroom. The best part of my PLN is that it is filled with passionate educators whose goal is to help educate students both academically and in life.
As a high school math teacher I have been able to connect with a community of math educators through #MTBoS (Math-Twitter-Blogosphere). By following (searching) #MTBoS on Twitter you can find many lesson ideas and great discussions about math education in our country.
Find Lesson Plan Ideas
Many teachers have blogs and other websites in addition to Twitter. These teachers post various lesson plans and strategies on their blogs and use Twitter to share with others. It is very common for teachers to “tweet” links to what they are doing in their classrooms and great resources that they find. In addition to the tweets sent by teachers I have been able to reach out to teachers on Twitter for lesson plans. Here are just two examples of lesson ideas that other teachers shared with me after I reached out and asked a question on Twitter.
— Ms. Barbara Woodcock (@mswoodcockmath) April 28, 2015
— Nora Oswald (@NoraOswald) April 28, 2015
Collaborate with Others
Twitter has allowed me to collaborate and work through ideas with many other educators. In just my short time on Twitter this year I have learned about Trello through Rik Rowe (@WHSRowe) and was helped by John Miller (@agileschool). I also started my journey to standards based grading. Through the support of my PLN on Twitter and Facebook I have been able to have many conversations with educators about implementing standards based grading. For an example of the collaboration for one idea check out the comments and edits for this post. Many people in my PLN take the time to help and refer me to other people that can provide additional resources.
One of the greatest forms of collaboration through Twitter has been various Twitter chats. These chats are a great way to connect, learn, and share with other educators. The chats may seem overwhelming at first, but once you observe for some time it is great to jump in and join the conversation. I have been able to connect (& follow) many educators through these chats. Many chats are set up with multiple questions (Q1,Q2, etc) and you respond with your answers (A1,A2, etc). Most chats have a scheduled time and follow a specific topic. There are also “slowchats” that ask one question each day instead of 5 or 6 in an hour’s time. I have participated in the following chats:
- #COLchat (Culture of Learning) Mondays at 9 pm EST
- #edtechchat – Mondays at 8 pm EST
- #whatisschool – Tuesdays at 7 pm EST
- #sblchat (Standards Based Learning) Wednesday at 9 pm EST
- #ChristianEducators – Thursdays at 9 pm EST
- #sced (South Carolina Ed) Sundays at 9 pm EST
- #TMchat (Thinking Maps) – Sunday at 10 pm EST
- #slowmathchat – Monday-Friday 1 question per day
- #slowchated – Monday-Friday 1 question per day
I do not participate every week, but I try to participate in the chats when I am available. I also follow the chats and will read through them the next day to see what people discussed. Click here for a massive list of different education twitter chats.