By Kim Miklusak
I admit: I was one of those people who refused to join Twitter. What in the world can you do in 140 characters, I thought? But I have to say I've been completely convinced for many reasons. Here are the two main ones:
1. I've connected with educators who have provided me with amazing resources and an instructional support structure: for example, while at the ISTE conference in Atlanta, I attended a workshop on 20% Time, which I was hoping to implement the following year. The presenters kept speaking about Joy Kirr, who hosts a LiveBinder on this instructional practice. Following Joy and the presenters on Twitter provided me with not only a plethora of materials but also a list of people to pose questions to and receive feedback from.
2. A few times a month I see an instructional strategy on Twitter that I am able to implement in my classroom. For example, I saw a tweet where Catlin Tucker shared a strategy called "Thesis Throwdown." It fit perfectly with what I was instructing in writing that week, so I tried it out the next day with great success! Then I was able to report back to Caitlin with pictures of what we did in class and thank her for sharing these ideas.
It can be hard to get rolling on Twitter, I know. I recommend starting small and following other people in your school or district as well as notable people or groups in your subject area. Unfollow if you don't find that resource useful! Start retweeting or sharing out links you find online or maybe updates of what is going on in your class. You may be surprised at the connections you make. From there you may want to create lists or use resources like TweetDeck or HootSuite to keep track of everything with ease.
If you would like a tips, a tutorial, or to talk more about how to use Twitter as a professional resource or an instructional tool, stop down to the CollabLab or post resources/questions in the comments below!