A Gentle Push Is Better Than A Hard Shove
I believe Twitter is a better way to deliver professional development when the teacher is invested in their own learning. If a teacher is active on Twitter, they are receiving more professional development benefit than a teacher who is only attending traditional professional development training. That said, it might seem like a great idea to require your staff to join Twitter so they can gain from the experience. However, forcing all teachers to have Twitter accounts would likely yield a similar result to forcing them to attend traditional professional development. Other social media platforms like Instagram could also be useful. Some teachers may be against signing up due to a fear of having a low number of followers. Any teacher in this position should click here to view Instagram followers packages provided by Buzzoid. If you are looking for automation tools to help you reach an audience, you might want to check out somewhere similar to kenji for more information. There are many social media experts that will be able to help you with building your social media platforms, you can also check out Upleap.com which will be able to help you gain followers and become a successful teacher by promoting your skills on sites such as Instagram. The real question is:
How do you bring the passion that is buried within each teacher to the surface so that they WANT to learn?
Twitter brings out the autonomy that traditional PD does not, but it does not necessarily bring out the passion required for this learning freedom to be beneficial.
How To Inspire Teachers to WANT to Learn on Twitter
This past week, I had the pleasure of participating in the ECOO: Bring It Together 2014 (#BIT14) and EdCamp Southwestern Ontario (#EdCampSWO) and it is so great to see so many teachers excited to continue their learning by joining Twitter. Conferences do a great job of making sure all sessions involve social media by using hashtags to promote back-channel learning and as a result, tons of new educators jump on the Twitter-Train to join in the fun. Rather than pushing teachers on your staff, how can you promote the use of social media to make them want to jump-in the fun?
– Craig Kemp (@mrkempnz) June 7, 2014
Could creating a Twitter hashtag for your staff promote some staff to use it and thus make other teachers curious about what they’re missing out?
Could you send your staff an article each week (similar to how George Couros does with his staff) with a citation including the social media network he found it on, the person who shared it, and any hashtags that were included?
Could giving your staff a Twitter mini-lesson inspire even a few to jump-in and give it a try? Perhaps they could even start a hashtag in order to pass along their message and help other students to learn. Most of the time the teachers won’t even have to lift a finger and can just view the Best Twitter Bots, Growth Tools & Automation Services – Quantum Marketer can show them, certain features on their account can be automated. All they have to do is tweet and share to help learners out!
These are some of the things I’m hoping to try with the teachers I work with in the MYCI Project and on my own staff. Do you have any other strategies that have worked for you?
Getting a New Tweep, Tweetin’ With Hashtags
When I first began using Twitter, I used hashtags a lot to find great content. However, I then began following the users I saw sharing great content over and over until my number of people I follow became very large (7k+). Now, I can just watch my feed and I see a great amount of content, all related to math and educational technology without using hashtags. It is like funnelling all the best hashtags into one feed. Here are some hashtags I used to use and still put in my tweets to help other new Twitter Followers:
#edchat – general education related
#edtech – Educational Technology
#maths – Math related
#mathchat – Math related
#MTbos – Math Twitter Blogosphere – Great math content from the blog world.
#3acts – Dan Meyer 3 act math tasks & similar
#onted – Ontario Education
#k12 – Focused on K-12 Education
#adedu – Apple Distinguished Educator & Related
#adechat – Apple Distinguished Educator Chats & Related
I do not participate in any regular twitter chats officially, since I am usually on Twitter for 10-15 minute periods but multiple times throughout the day. Often times I’ll jump into a chat, but only with respect to a topic that caught my eye as I watched my twitter timeline. After that particular discussion dies down, I move on.
Getting New Tweeps’ Following…
Some great Twitter edu-leaders/organizations I follow and constantly see great content from are listed below. Please note that this is just to get you started and I follow a huge number of others that are constantly leading me to grow by trying new things:
@ddmeyer – Dan Meyer (Math)
@edudemic – Educational Technology Leader
@gcouros – George Couros (Edu Leadership)
@mathycathy – Cathy Yenca (Math)
@mrorr_geek – Jon Orr (Math)
@nathankraft1 – Nathan Kraft (Math)
@mr_stadel – Andrew Stadel (Math)
@cordym – Michelle Cordy (Edu-Innovator)
@mraspinall – Brian Aspinall (CS/Coding/Maker Movement)
@justintarte – Justin Tarte (Edu Leadership)
@robertkaplinsky – Robert Kaplinsky (Math)
@rafranzdavis – Rafranz Davis (Math)
@davidwees – David Wees (Math)
@dougpete – Doug Peterson (Tech/Good Teaching in Ontario)
@davidpetro314 – David Petro (Math & Ontario Math)
@mrswideen – Kristen Wideen (Primary Math & Tech)
@techchef4u – Lisa Johnson (Tech)
@mrhooker – Carl Hooker (Tech / Edu-Leadership)
@sjgorman – Sue Gorman (Tech & Just a Positive Person)
@techgirljenny – Jenny Grabiec (Tech)
These are just a few of the 8k-ish folks I follow in Twitter. I know, by only listing 20 people, I have left out some incredibly amazing people in math, tech, edu-leadership and apologize to those folks. The intention here is to get new Tweeps going with some great people in those areas and I’m sure they will run into many others organically from there. If I toss a list of 50, 100 or 1k, chances are, no action will be taken.
My hope is that this post will inspire educators new to Twitter to jump in and give it a go. With some support from the Edu-Twitter community, I’m sure they will find a tremendous amount of value to inspire professional growth.
New Edu-Tweep Exemplar – @PearceTeacher
My sister, Kim Pearce (@pearceteacher) has had a Twitter account for a while, but wasn’t too active. It was great to see her inspired by EdCampSWO to jump into the Twitter conversations and continue doing so even after the conference was done:
– Kim Pearce (@pearceteacher) November 8, 2014
Consider following her to give her that nudge to keep going and I’m sure she’ll pay it forward to another colleague she works with in time.
Who Are YOU Following?
Share some of your favourite Tweeps in the comments. Would love to continue expanding my PLN!
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