Fourteen Reasons All Educators Should Use Twitter!

As I was writing this blogpost, I retweeted the following and found a new colleague via Twitter!

“After 20+ years in teaching I had got to the point where I was coasting until I actively engaged with twitter. Thank you for inspiring me, encouraging me and pushing me. You made me a better teacher.” –Karen Knight

And now…the blogpost.

If anyone has read many of my previous blogposts, my sad story of Twitter is known. Might be typical for a lot of educators. When Twitter first reared its head, I was a junior high principal. I knew that Twitter was for movie stars and teenage musicians. I just knew it and I was pretty sure I was neither a movie star, nor teenage musician. So Twitter just sat there. Along around 2009 or so, I was hassled into getting an account for our school, via my principal role. I robustly tweeted out some school things on a blistering schedule of a tweet every couple of months to my tens of followers. I still didn’t get it.

Twitter was founded in March, 2006. Officially launched in July, 2006. Officially just sat there for me until about ten years later.

It turns out what needed to happen for me to get Twitter as a Learning Tool was that I needed to get a new job. Shake things up in my professional life and thinking. After 31 years in school buildings, I took on a new role at the district office. Executive Director of Teaching-Learning-Innovation. I had the chance to make a new department, where one didn’t exist. I was casting around for ideas…and found George Couros. On Twitter. And that was that.

I am now an evangelist for Twitter as a Professional Learning Tool For All Educators. And if I can convince just one educator to learn from my sad, slow tale of Twitter acceptance, I know that all of that educator’s teachers/students will be impacted in significant and positive ways.

Twitter has changed, challenged, and enriched my professional life and thinking. Full Stop. -Jeff Nelson, @jnelsontli

Here are Fourteen Reasons
All Educators Should Use Twitter!

  1. Get a new idea/activity/practice in seconds. Find it, think about it, implement it. Share how it went.
  2. Meet authors. Among the authors I’ve met and personally talked with, some of the biggies in our line of work. George Couros, Shelley Burgess, Beth Houf, and Tara Martin, among others! And though I haven’t met him yet, I’ve exchanged thoughts/ideas many times with David Geurin!
  3. Challenge your old thinking. Humbling. But exciting.
  4. Edchats. Twitter Chats. Whatever one wants to call them. A group of educators from around the world, digitally gather around a hashtag and a group of questions and share. My favorite is Saturday morning, 7:30 am (PST), #LeadLAP
  5. Find your voice. Share your voice.
  6. Amplify Your Why via others.
  7. In challenging or dull moments, reinvigorate. Find inspiration. Quickly, easily, and authentically available in seconds.
  8. Follow a real-time hashtag in your classroom to keep up on a current event/pop culture.
  9. From Beth Houf! “My number one reason would be the opportunity to showcase the amazing things that happen in classrooms and buildings each day. We are better together for sure!”
  10. From Tara Martin! “My number one reason would be to amplify impact and build connections with like-minded professionals. There are so many incredible things happening inside the walls of classrooms, but for all of us to peek inside the buildings of these outstanding EDUs and truly learn from each other, we must share openly! Twitter is a perfect platform to amplify the impact of educators around the globe. In the process of sharing and collaborating online, many times…lasting friendships are formed.” By the way, do yourself a HUGE favor and check out Tara’s Twitter 101 For EDUs!
  11. From Robert Kratzig, a real teacher in a real classroom, every single day! “Sharing Ideas / Collaboration – I am certainly not the only person in the world that teaches what I teach (even more true when I was teaching Social Studies), however it often feels like we’re all disconnected.  I was sure there was probably a social studies teacher out there doing something absolutely amazing, but I had no way to professionally meet them, connect with them, see those ideas, and discuss.  Twitter is that avenue!  I have gotten some of my best ideas, things to try or adapt, and just “ah-has” from posts I’ve read from what other teachers are doing in their classrooms.”
  12. Also from Robert Kratzig, “Perspective Shifting – People in other areas of the country or even just in other parts of Washington have different educational experiences and social constructs that led them to have different world views or philosophies of education.  I’ve been a Washingtonian my whole life, and I think that limited perspective is expanded by interacting and seeing posts from others around the world and the social, familial, and educational issues different communities are facing.”
  13. From David Geurin! “Twitter is a great place to get ideas and inspiration. It’s great being connected to fantastic educators from everywhere.”
  14. From The George Couros! “For me, it is the opportunity to provide a “world class” education by seeing what other teachers around the world do in their classrooms.”

I’ll add to this list as other great ideas come flying in to headquarters!

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Author: Jeff Nelson

Jeff Nelson Fife School District Assistant Superintendent:Teaching-Learning-Innovation 36 years as an educator. 16 years teacher 3 years assistant principal 12 years principal 5 years Assistant Superintendent BA, Washington State University MAEd, Washington State University Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining. Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years. jnelson@fifeschools.com twitter.com/jeffnelsonTLI

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