Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Power of Twitter - Revisited

Next month I have the opportunity to share my passion for teaching and learning at the @NLearning Building Communities Conference in Boston. In the spirit of preparing for the conversations I am excited to be engaged in, I thought I would share this post from my early days of blogging. First published on April 14, 2014, my growth and my effectiveness of being a leader has grown exponentially since that time. Thanks to my Professional Learning Network for their constant push towards my own development as a learner and a leader.


Most likely if you are reading this you have undoubtedly found The Power of Twitter. What began a couple years back as a dabbling in social media, has become one of the most intriguing and gratifying forms of professional development in my 20 years in education.

So what have I accomplished with Twitter?  Let's create a list.  I will start and you can add yours in the comment section if you so please.  Here we go:

1. Professional Development. You, like myself, either have or will identify your Professional Learning Network. Your "PLN", as us Twitter savvy techies refer to them, will assist you in a variety of ways each day. Whether affirming a thought or answering a question, the on-the-spot professional development will rival any in-service you have participated in. This PLN, which changes by what my needs are, continues to expand my knowledge of the work that I do.

2. Reflection. A while back I wrote Blogging, Why Bother? and it is still circulating around the twitter-sphere. I am hopeful that it resonated with a couple of novice writers that stumbled across it and maybe even inspired someone else to start posting themselves. Twitter ignited this passion of writing and therefore reflection of my work.

3. Communication. If you have not experienced the power of participating in a twitter chat, then it should be the first item on your twitter "bucket list". My own journey with twitter began like this: 1. Created an account. 2. Followed some people and got followers back. 3. Read what others were saying and tried to throw a thought out there for others to learn from. And then it happened. I found the power of the hashtag! What began as "lurking"- reading a twitter chat without engaging in conversation, has turned into a chat schedule that rivals no other. #Edchat, #ohedchat, #sblchat, #IAedchat and now one inspired by myself and some of my colleagues, #hcsdchat, consume too many evenings. Thanks to people like Jerry Blumengarten I can keep up to date on all the days and times of these powerful conversations. The degree of communication is unbelievable.

4. Connections. I am fortunate to have the connections I do in my daily work and be able to collaborate with some amazing people in my building. My teachers rival all others and my administrative team, including those I report to, are passionate and strive for excellence. With that, twitter has amplified not only those connections but also those down the street and those hundreds of miles away. I have made connections with my use of twitter that have strengthened me and made me better. Professionals like Todd Whitaker and Rick Wormeli have become more than authors of great insight and intellect, they have become a reachable resource. And those like Jennifer HoganDave Burgess and LaVonna Roth and their experiences have become immediately accessible as I infuse, share and grow from their knowledge and strengthen my own leadership.

As you think about your use of Twitter consider all of its forms and what power it posses in your work. PLN's, blogging, hashtag conversations and making connections is just the beginning of the power of twitter. Add your thoughts below. I am always looking to learn.