What do the following people have in common:
Shelly S Terrell
Karen L. Mahon
and so many more?
The people listed above are some of the many "Tweeps" or "Tweople ("Twitter + People = Tweople") whom I follow on Twitter. The "Tweeps" or "Tweople" I follow tweet and/or blog about issues that pertain to education and/or education technology. Being that I am a full time classroom teacher - and we all know that teachers take their work home with them, my time is extremely limited when it comes to Professional Development, or PD. Twitter allows me to learn from others.
I first joined Twitter after attending ISTE 2011 however I did not use it. I really did not understand its purpose nor did I understand how it could benefit me and my professional goals. A year later when I attended ISTE 2012, I gave Twitter a second shot. While I was at ISTE 2012, I was able to meet many educators during the conference and then follow them on Twitter. It's great to be able to collaborate with fellow educators no matter where they are; whether they are in my city or an entirely different hemisphere.
In today's ever changing world - and more specifically the EdTech changing world, PD is very important in order to be successful. As so many of us have limited PD opportunities at our schools or in our communities, Twitter provides me with much necessary PD that I need in order to improve my teaching, and specifically improve my integration of Education Technology in the classroom. After all, educational technology is to be used as a tool in the classroom; it should not be looked at as a toy, a babysitter, or as a novelty. When used appropriately, it has the power to improve one's teaching methods and make one a better teacher as it leads to increased student engagement.
Through Twitter, I was able to find and gain inspiration from the following blog posts which were written by some of the "Tweeps" whom I have listed above: 20/20 Technology Vision by Nick Provenzano; 12 Things Kids Want From Their Teachers by Angela Maiers; and 5 Low-Tech Ways to Increase Engagement in Lectures by Karen Mahon.
So, to sum it all up, who are you following on Twitter? What are you tweeting? Are you using your time on Twitter in a productive way that will help you improve your instruction?