Almost every night I…politely ask my husband to “unplug” from Twitter. He is a basketball coach and math teacher and spends hours sifting through tweets about the two topics and others I’m sure. Because I have always struggled to understand this obsession, I have decided to use Twitter as my learning network. As a coach myself, I already followed many local sports reporters and league teams. I also followed some of my favorite athletes, celebrities, and my friends. I conducted a quick search with a few key terms and was able to add to my list of those I follow. I found the Purdue Writing Lab, EnglishClub, ISTE, EdTech K-12 Magazine, MindShift, and 10 others. I was so impressed with how easily I found these resources that I am now excited to sift through my own feed to improve my knowledge and teaching.
One reason this learning network is relevant to my professional life is because every person and organization seems to have Twitter. The resources are endless. On one platform I am able to find reputable nonfiction articles that apply to my students and the curriculum, as well as technology trends in education. I hope to continue to add to those I am following. I specifically would like to use this network in the future to help my seniors understand college expectations and college life.
Another reason this is relevant to my professional life is because all of my students use or are familiar with Twitter. Using this platform will help me relate to them. It also opens the door to assignment opportunities that use Twitter and/or its resources. I have had students mimic Twitter accounts in the past, but now I can find certain users and ask students to use them as resources or just to spark conversations.
So many times in my personal and professional life I have told myself, maybe next year. Maybe next year I will have time to revamp that unit on Hamlet. Maybe next year I will find better resources to teach my students how to effectively paraphrase. THIS YEAR I will use Twitter to improve my teaching. Brianna Crowley (2016) says it best that “like moving to a new place, the hardest part is the initial step.” Risking a few hours here or there searching through users and tweets will be well worth the time once I find resources that will help me teach and my students learn.
Crowley, B. (2014, December 31). 3 steps for building a professional learning network. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from Education Week website: http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2014/12/31/3-steps-for-building-a-professional-learning.html