Why even consider Twitter in a professional development setting?
Most people who hear about Twitter for the first or second (or third) time just can’t understand what all the fuss is about. It seems silly—who would want to read something like “Oh gosh, the baby just threw up on me!” or “Little Johnny just hit a home run!”? Nice to know, but it’s not compelling content that will have anyone coming back for more...

...most of the educators we’re connected to on Twitter will tell you it’s one of their primary forms of DIYPD. In fact, these days it’s where most educators seem to start when building their networks. Part of it is ease of use, but a bigger part may be that the 140-character limit creates an opportunity to participate without putting too much of yourself out there. How dangerous can it be to send out links to high-quality reading that others might find interesting and learn from, even if your name is attached to it? Answer: not very. Once you get the hang of how to start connecting with other Twitterers, your networks can grow very quickly. Tens of millions of people now have active Twitter accounts, and thousands of educators of all stripes are participating there as well. (Richardson, Mancabelli, Kindle location 1056)


Activity:


Use the links below to skim twitter.com. What do you notice?
Before you get started, you might watch this short screencast video to support you.




Explore the following hashtags and users, remembering to think about our reflection questions.

Hashtags
#STEM = A conversation about science, technology, engineering and mathematics in education


#engchat = A conversation between English teachers sharing ideas and resources.

#edtech = A conversation about technology in education

#edchat = Educators discussing trends in education and best practices

#cpchat = “Connected Principals” - A hashtag about education leadership, technology in schools and network learning. PLEs and PLNs

#spedchat = A conversation among educators discussing issues and trends in special education


#edapps = A conversation to recommend and discuss apps for education


#iPadchat = A conversation about iPads, generally tied to their use in education

A few to follow


@CarolJago - NCTE past president and author.
@edutopia - The George Lucas Education Foundation
@web2.0classroom- Steven W. Anderson, co-founder of #edchat.
@englishcomp - Jim Burke, author of The English Teacher’s Companion and organizer of ECNing.
@dmlcentral - Digital media and learning research hub.

@L_Hilt - Lyn Hilt, a principal in rural Pennsylvania whose work with social media learning was featured in the book Personal Learning Networks: Using the Power of Connections to Transform Education, by Will Richardson and Rob Mancabelli.

An Extension:
An NPR article about tweeting in high schools
An Edutopia article about using Twitter to grow a professional learning network


Resources:

Richardson, Will; Mancabelli, Rob (2011-05-01). Personal Learning Networks: Using the Power of Connections to Transform Education (p. 40). Ingram Distribution. Kindle Edition.