If you are not using Twitter yet and you are an educator I have one simple statement! You are doing yourself a HUGE injustice! Wait, even better, you are doing your students and school system a HUGE injustice!
I didn’t “get” twitter up until this past spring. Now, I want you to understand something right now, I am a technology user! An avid lover of integrating technology into my everyday life and job. When people talk about being connected, they are not talking about me. They would have to be talking about about being REALLY connected. I mean come on, who really needs a laptop, iPod Touch, iPod nano, Droid and then an iPad as well? But I digress….. Back to the point!
Now I “get” Twitter. It was as simple as finally figuring out hash tags and keywords and searches. If I go into Twitter and search for #musedchat I find a long list, and growing, of invaluable discussion between other people that do the same thing as I do! They teach music! I’m not talking about a few local teachers who live in the same area as I do who meet every now and then. I do enjoy that discussion as well. I’m talking about ALOT of people from ALL over the world in all sorts of different situations with a HUGE amount of experience. People offering advice, people seeking advice, people looking for ideas, new techniques, old techniques and all sorts of other great things. In fact every monday night that hash tag will be the focus of an hour long discussion on a weekly topic in music education.
I watch this list, then I click on a person who is posting to see their profile. If I like what I see then I simply click follow. I also have figured out lists. So now in my one Twitter app when I open the app on my iPad, I see one column that has a list that holds conversation, news and ideas presented to me pertaining to teaching with an iPad. Another column has the teachers who teach music with an iPad. Another column is the musedchat information.
I don’t really like the words discussion, conversation or information. It’s a combination of the three. When I read through these lists, I see some people who simply, and quickly, post short pieces of information or ideas or thoughts. I also see other people who are conversing back and forth a bit. I don’t see long messages or long drawn out personal messages or long threads of a conversation. That sort of personal stuff happens more on Facebook, which is another post later. The longest discussion that happens is the Monday night musedchat type of conversations for that one hour. I know that there is an escheat discussion that happens as well.
What I do find is more professional development that is directly relevant and immediately applicable to my job than I have seen in any PD put on by any school I have ever taught at TOTAL. This is the age of information at your fingertips. Talk about reading. I read now more than I have since I was a kid. I do remember those days of going to the local library with my Mom and Brother. We had a deal worked out with the librarians there. We ALWAYS checked out more than the normal limit of books. We would each walk out with an armful of books. Living in the country without tv leaves a person with more time on their hands I guess! 🙂 I feel like I am 15 again with an armful of books written just for me, everyday!
I wonder if we can Twitter as relevant for our students.
Here are some links to get you started (after you have taken the three minutes to get a Twitter account);