Why Twitter? My colleague and friend, Karen, says that Twitter follows the laws of the universe. It’s there for you when you need it. You will always find something that applies to you. Whether you decide to spend a few minutes a day or dive in for a longer visit, I can guarantee you will find something tailored just for you!
I started following Twitter last year when I was trying to figure out what my daughter was posting. (Yes, I am a stalker mother.) Her posts were harmless and fun, so I started exploring. I noticed that many educators were on Twitter. What was all the fuss? What could it do for me?
I tiptoed very slowly at first. Where to start? I searched for bloggers or apps I followed. Then I found them on Twitter. Monica Burns, Seesaw, and Pernille Ripp were some of my first follows. From there, I spread my wings and dove deeper into the world of Twitter. I was a “lurker” at first – watching posts flow into my feed. I followed some other folks and found that there really was something for everyone. No matter when I went on to check my feed, there was at least one post that applied to me or my teaching.
This past summer after attending the ISTE convention, I was determined to figure out how to get more involved in the Twitter World. Susan M. Bearden and the app she created, TweechMe, was instrumental in helping me figure it all out. I learned how to follow someone, send a tweet favorite a tweet, Retweet, reply and so much more. All throughout this journey, I would find an article, a suggestion, an inspirational quote or comment that inspired me or related to my teaching practice. It was Professional Development whenever I wanted. And it was good and practical advice. It energized my thinking.
Twitter chats were my next challenge. Someone has said, that participating in a Twitter chat is like drinking from a fire hydrant. Yes, it is, but I wanted to take at least a sip. I sputtered and stumbled at first and felt a bit overwhelmed by the tweets flowing past me at rapid speed. But once I realized I just needed to get a taste, not guzzle the whole thing chats became an integral part of my Twitter experience. TweetDeck was a great resource to help me figure out how to jump in and join chats. I also stumbled upon #NT2T (New Teachers to Twitter) and #satchat. These two chats got me totally hooked. From there my addictive personality took over and I started checking Twitter more frequently, interacting with others, and sending out my own original tweets. Twitter is my new learning experience. It helps me remember what it is like to be a learner, while continuing to enlighten and encourage me.
My goal for this year is to spread the word about Twitter and convince my colleagues and others to jump into the world of Twitter. So here I am- spreading the word. Give Twitter a try. You’ll be glad you did.