To Tweet or Not to Tweet?
I just created a Twitter account about a month ago. Twitter was first created in 2006, so I know I am behind the times. But, from what I can tell as I search for “friends”, a bunch of you are, too! So I feel that I am in good company. I have to say that I resisted using Twitter. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE technology and think it has (mostly) enhanced my life. But I have this tendency to want to live most of my life away from my technological devices and only part of it virtually. I also thought it was mostly teenagers and famous people using Twitter.
But last fall I spent a day at a conference with Kelly Gallagher, and he mentioned that Twitter has been one of his best professional development resources. I kept that in the back of my mind but didn’t really get it. Then last month when I finally created my account, I began to see why. I found many of my favorite literacy geeks tweeting! The quotes and resources they are sharing are amazing and it all happens in real time. I didn’t get the full effect until this weekend, though. The 2013 International Reading Association Convention is just ending today, and while I wasn’t able to attend in person this year, I felt like I was there—virtually! I was able to follow all of my peeps around to their sessions, read their favorite quotes, find out about their airport delays, see who they were hanging out with, and even celebrate with the teacher who was excited that Justin Bieber had retweeted her tweet about “close reading”. ( Click here to see the screen shot). Many of them included links to websites, professional books, and slideshows. It truly is an amazing professional development tool. And you don’t even have to “tweet” to take advantage of it. You can just spy on what others are tweeting about and learn from them.
In addition to using Twitter for your own professional development, there are many classroom uses as well. Here is an article that lists 50 ways to use Twitter in the classroom.
So if you haven’t checked out Twitter yet, I encourage you to do so. It couldn’t be easier to use and the payoff is huge. Not sure how to get started? Just ask a teenager. Or let these second-graders give you a video tutorial!