Yes. You have a principal who twitters. If you are anything like my family, right now your eyebrows are raised and you are calling up visions of the latest and endless news coverage of who twitters & tweets — and how this latest craze in social messaging is redefining instant communication across the globe.
I have taken a great deal of “endearing” harassment from my husband and close friends for my twitter habits. Before I can defend myself and explain that I AM NOT FOLLOWING Ashton Kutcher or Demi Moore (although they may be following me) NOR am I checking the most recent tweets about Michael Jackson (even though I did have a nice collection of Jackson 45′s) — my family is cracking themselves up with tweet, twitter, and twits-phere jokes.
So, why do I endure this teasing and continue to twitter you ask? OR better yet you may be asking: WHY DO YOU TWITTER and WHAT IN THE WORLD DO YOU GET OUT OF IT? For a professional explanation of twitter, check out Twitter in Plain English. To understand why I twitter, read on:
1. Twitter has become the most powerful tool for me to grow my professional learning network (PLN). I am connected with principals, technology specialists, phenomenal classroom teachers, parents, media specialists and educational web designers from all walks of life—and on all sides of the world.
2. Since joining twitter in November of 2008, I have learned more about how to support students, parents and teachers with technology EVER. This is an important learning curve for me to explore and live because technology (whether I or we like it or not) is changing the way we think, learn, process, teach, problem solve, support, communicate and share with others. Here is a picture of just a few of my twitter friends who help me learn how to be a better teacher with technology as a learning tool:
3. Our students – YOUR CHILDREN – are racing ahead of us on this curve. In order for educators and parents to be able to learn with them and improve our best practice instruction for them, I must (we must) explore all areas of the web and ask important questions about how to determine primary sources, sort through fact from fiction, and determine appropriate boundaries for sharing personal information.
4. Finally, I have developed some great contacts for professional learning through twitter! I have become attached to my network of followers. How? Why? Each time I tweet a question about a tech problem I am experiencing or the need for a link to an application, my network comes through in a matter of hours or even minutes! I do my best to share and support them by sharing my links and resources without developing, as my family claims, and addiction to twitter. One of my principal twitter colleagues, Mrs. Melinda Miller, recently blogged about her need to twitter referencing a quiz to determine if an individual is twitter addicted. If I am ever in need a 12 step twitter program, I know who to tweet!
You are welcome to follow me (tee62) on twitter. I can assure you that most of my tweets (like facebook) are simple, boring and typically interesting only to those who are in education or have children of their own. When you check out my followers, you will see that our new superintendent, Mr. Nick Ceglarek, is also a twitter. If you are interested in learning more about twitter, please visit the Georgetown Wiki – a collection of resources I have created for the staff, one page devoted to twitter resources. (You feel a post about wiki ‘ing coming, don’t you?)
In closing, I can assure you that I will never ask you with a sarcastic tone, “So…how are Ashton and Demi doing these days?”