Over the past few months, I have developed a serious Twitter addiction. I’m certain that many of you know the major symptoms. It begins slowly enough with a sense of curiosity which rapidly develops into a full blown obsession … or is that just me? I do know that Twitter has become my PD of choice. Recently, there has been a suggestion, from some, (I call them the misguided) that educators are not actually learning a great deal from their Twitter interaction. I’m certainly keen to dispute that claim; the vast majority of what I now do in the classroom has been crowd sourced from Twitter. Further, much of my understanding about the key issues in contemporary education has grown from discussions with my tweeps.
The challenge of capturing precisely what you wish to say in 140 characters or less demands that you think carefully. I enjoy the intellectual challenge of succeeding in this respect and have realised that it also appeals to students. Just today I asked my new Year 8 students to describe themselves in 140 characters. I quickly had some complaints along the lines of “… this is so hard!” However, none of them gave in and were working on third or fourth drafts when the all too short lesson ended. Needless to say, I am keen to see what they come to class with tomorrow. I will certainly be tweeting some of their descriptions, anonymously, from my own Twitter account.
Until last week, my pleading with other teachers to join this social media giant had fallen on deaf ears. Many saw Twitter as simply being a platform for social inanities. Then I came across the hash tag #Battt … which, if you haven’t encountered it, is an acronym for “Bring a Teacher to Twitter.” So I set out to do just that by conducting a short PD session which ended in some active tweeting. I now have introduced eight of my colleagues to Twitter. They all remain tentative but I will certainly continue to help in building their PLNs. I have embedded below, via Scribd, my presentation on “Using Twitter to Build a PLN.” I would be delighted to have any of my readers download and use it; especially if it enables you to #Battt.