Getting Comfortable with Twitter
I used to follow about 50 people on twitter, and had about 5 followers. I never tweeted, but reading twitter in the morning was like reading the sports newspaper. I followed mainly hockey writers, a few N.H.L. players, and a few other random people. By following sports writers/announcers, I found out anything major that happened in the NHL the night before, and I knew which highlights I HAD to watch. It was great for trade rumours, especially leading up the trade deadline, roster adjustments for the Edmonton Oilers (my favourite team), and funny tweets from some of the players.
I had a separate account, as a teacher, for my students in Kuwait at the American Creativity Academy. I tweeted their homework (not very often), posted a few pictures, and randomly mentioned them once in a blue moon, or asked questions if I needed something from the mall. I had about 70 followers, and followed those same 70 students. I logged into it about once a week, and it basically did not exist.
After being introduced to “The Principal of Change”, http://georgecouros.ca/blog/, the blog of the Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning for Parkland School Division, George Couros, I started following him on twitter, @gcouros, and I strongly recommend you do the same. Around this time I merged my two twitter accounts into one, and started following as many principals/teachers/technology experts as possible. My twitter feed was a lot busier, as I am now following 774 people, and I have begun to categorize them into lists (educators, hockey, sports, students, etc) so that I can continue to read my favourite tweets, while paying less attention to others.
I now have 317 followers, and although I am slowly starting to tweet more, I am amazed by the professional development I have received on twitter, reading educators tweets, links, links to blogs, etc. It is amazing the amount of knowledge I have learned through twitter, and I hope to begin to give back to the twitter/education community in the near future, instead of just re-tweeting information I am impressed with.
I have used the “hashtag” in the classroom to have students collaborate their thoughts on a certain lesson, or to build up the community at ACA, and I hope to use this twitter feature more in the near future. I am hoping to blog more as well, and have to realize (like most people), that I don’t have to be perfect to blog, this blog doesn’t have to be the most exciting thing to read in the world, but just to put myself out there and write.