Twitter? Professional?…C’mon!!!

Yes, another social media outlet…Twitter…ugh!  Not so fast folks!!  When Twitter first emerged I thought that this was just another social media outlet for the kids, the younger generation.  I signed up for an account some time early last summer, played with it for a day or two without much focus, and forgot about it.

I continued to hear more and more about it.  Honestly, what brought me back was when one Green Bay Packer, @nickbarnett56, was venting via Twitter.  I wanted to see what the buzz was all about.  It doesn’t matter though how I got back, just that I did.  All of a sudden it hit me.  I started networking a little with family, then with a few colleagues, then BAM!!  I found #edchat.  This is a ‘backchannel’ of Twitter that has educators all over the globe discussing current topics near and dear to our hearts in education.  If you are reading this and you are not a teacher, you too can find a niche for your interests.  See, the little # sign is called a hashtag.  You put that little sign in front of a topic, group, or interest and do a simple search within Twitter and your eyes will be open to a world that you never new existed.  Give it some time, you’ll get it…seriously!

Get yourself an account today.  Here is the link: http://twitter.com/  After you get signed up, do a people search to find out if any of your friends or colleagues are on board, tweeting.  If you are an educator I suggest following these four to get started @ShellTerrell @TomWhitby @jswiatek @web20classroom…and of course me, @jpsteltz 🙂   The person that really got me going with educational technology is @jbrogley who is our very own in-house tech guru!! Then, when you have some time, check out these two links I received from @ShellTerrell  http://bit.ly/7QcOR  and http://bit.ly/5oD8z…an amazing and vast expanse of quality educators to follow from all over the world, get to know, and learn from!!  If/when you really get brave, download TweetDeck to utilize and maximize your Twitter experience  http://www.tweetdeck.com/ .

I have gotten involved on a ning network http://edupln.ning.com/  created by @tomwhitby with many of the Twitter educators and have even encouraged some of my colleagues to join.  It has been an incredible experience.

Just last night I received this link from @personified http://vodpod.com/watch/22265-ken-robinson-tedtalks-do-schools-today-kill-creativity, if you are an educator or parent or both…watch it!

I have had more professional development in the last month via Twitter than I have gotten at the last two professional conferences I have been at.  It’s energizing and useful.  Is it social?  Sure.  Is it professional?  Absolutely!

Check out this link, one click will lead you to hundreds of veteran educators!    http://bit.ly/cag1J

Hope to soon see your Tweets 🙂

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About jpsteltz

Proud husband and father of four; Literacy Specialist; Reading Teacher; Literacy Coach; HS ELA Teacher; Published Author
This entry was posted in #edchat, Education, technology and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Twitter? Professional?…C’mon!!!

  1. Paul Hoffman says:

    Alright…alright…I’ll give it a try again. Being an IT guy, I’m supposed to be all over stuff like this. But I’ve had a Twitter account for about 2 years now and just NEVER GOT IT. But John is the man and I’m going to give it another shot…..

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  2. tomwhitby says:

    John
    I am glad that you happened upon us. We need more educators like you to discover the power of Social Networking for the purpose of developing and expanding a personal Learning Network.If a novice wants to get involved, I would suggest joining The Educator’s PLN. It is a site built from Links shared through Twitter. A newbie can Lurk and Learn. That is the ability to look at what is going on without interacting with anyone until a comfort level is reached. The site is loaded with Tutorials so a member gets an idea of what questions to ask next. You don’t know what you don’t know. Once you have the questions you can choose a direction and learn.
    Twitter is a primary source but it works best with a large number of educators to follow. If you are following them you will see all that they offer. A new person can download a twitter list of educators to follow with one click. Under the Twitter Tutorial the list is ShellTerrell Educator List to Follow.You will follow several hundred all at once and the information will flow.
    Go slowly and build your PLN with thought and reflection. It will serve you well.

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    • jsteltz says:

      Thank you so much for responding Tom. You are a pioneer of sorts in this area of social networking as a learning tool. I have learned so much from you and the rest of the PLN. I can’t say it enough how eye opening and amazing it has been.

      Thanks so much for allowing me to be part of such a wonderful group of educators, educators with the humility to share and learn together!!

      Like

  3. Marcus Lee says:

    First, I have to say that John’s experience is much like my own. I’ve been part of the Twitterati for about a year or so. First started when I was working as an EdTech and Curriculum Specialist at a private college. Now I operate my own consulting business and I’ve found that Twitter humbles me, motivates me, and keeps me so excited about what I can teach to my clients regarding the opportunity to engage their students in new ways. I operate out of the heartland! That is Western KY, Southern IN and IL, MO, and TN. In many of the districts I work, technology and innovation in general are desired, but still thought of as something outside of the educational platform which exists in their brick and mortar schools. While working with a community college, I discovered that this area is on a different evolutionary step than are many of the larger metro areas (like Orlando where I’m from and where I grew up). It’s so exciting to share these technologies and the collaborative opportunities they provide.

    If you get a chance, please take a look at my new blogsite for my company. We’re a group of educators helping others in the community to think, move and operate in new ways. I’d love to hear from my peers across the country.

    Thanks for sharing John!

    http://openideagroup.com
    Twitter @openideagroup

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    • jsteltz says:

      Marcus-
      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts here! I really appreciate it! I can’t remember a time recently when I have been so passionate about something ‘new’. Or maybe it’s the something ‘new’ that has brought more passion and willing to take risks in my teaching methods. Just this week, through educators on twitter, I have integrated WallWisher and Ning with my students. They love it! Can you believe that?

      The professional opportunities I am getting via twitter are amazing and, believe it or not, are catching me up to the kids…a little bit anyway.

      Thanks for your thoughts!!

      Like

  4. Crystal Espinosa says:

    I have to admit that I was extremely hesitant about signing up for Twitter several weeks ago. The thought of learning how to navigate through an entirely new social networking site was just unappetizing to me at the time. However, there are so many intelligent educators posting new and fun ideas on the site. I have become eager to learn how to use twitter and when i finally get the hang of it hopefully i can share some of my interesting thoughts, ideas, ad videos with my fellow educators as well. Great Post Professor Whitby I am excited to see more!

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    • jsteltz says:

      Thank you Crystal for your thoughtful response. Twitter takes a little getting used to, but when you do get used to it you will be amazed, as I was, to find so many wonderful people and resources!!

      Thanks for sharing!

      Like

  5. Crystal Espinosa says:

    Thank you Jsteltz, I’m sure it will also slowly come together.

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  6. Thank you for spreading the news about #Edchat and Twitter as a means of professional development. My story is similar to yours in that I tried Twitter for a few days and quit. I started because I wanted to connect with my family in Guatemala and all over America. I’m in Germany so it was an easy way to communicate. However, talking to one’s family isn’t always enough so I was lucky to find some educators. I gave it another try and researched a lot about it. It finally clicked and now I don’t know what I would do without it!

    Here are two valuable resources for educators new to Twitter that your readers might find useful:

    http://twitterforteachers.wetpaint.com/page/What+is+Twitter

    http://dncworldwide.com/2009/02/22/twitter-guide-for-newbies/

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    • jsteltz says:

      Gosh. I can’t thank you enough for checking this out and providing some of your experience to this discussion. Furthermore, I can’t thank you enough for all of the valuable links and resources you have shared through #edchat and twitter. I have truly been thrilled at meeting fellow educators this way.

      Keep up the good work! Thanks so much!

      Like

  7. j25451212 says:

    I am glad that you found Twitter. I can honestly say that between #edchat and my PLN, Twitter is better than any professional development I have ever gone to. I just wrote about it as well at http://jasontbedell.com/?p=228. If it will help you get more of your teachers on board, feel free to use it. I’m @jasontbedell.

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    • jsteltz says:

      Jason-

      Thanks so much for your insight! I can’t believe how Twitter has truly changed me in the last few weeks. I don’t see it dying off any time soon.

      I appreciate you taking the time to visit this site. I am sure I will continue to chat w/ you on #edchat.

      Like

      • j25451212 says:

        I don’t see it dying either. It may not have much appeal for the “normal” person, but it allows for great communication for those who know their niche (ie. teaching).

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  8. steelepierce says:

    John, your blog post arrived just in time for a workshop I’m giving for principals on Web 2.0. Part of it I’m calling “Consider Twitter.” Thanks for your insights and your authentic voice. I’ll be sharing this. BTW, I got the link via @ShellTerrell. The PLN is powerful. Thanks! @steelepierce

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    • jsteltz says:

      I am so glad that you found the site. I am so glad this has been helpful. I appreciate you taking the time to provide some thoughtful input on this topic. I am so jazzed about Twitter and how it can be used in the classroom and as professional development.

      Thank you so much!!

      Like

  9. Joan Young says:

    Great post! I was on Twitter initially for quite some time before I began tweeting regularly. I am a participant in #edchat when I can make it, and I truly enjoy the professionalism, sharing and support that educators offer each other through this tool. I highly recommend Twitter to those who want to broaden their network of educators committed to improving education for all! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Like

    • jsteltz says:

      Joan- My sentiments exactly. I second your recommendation!! Great professional development!

      Thanks for visiting the blog and thanks for posting such thoughtful comments!

      Like

  10. Dave Kust says:

    Enjoyed your post. It only took me a week before I was hooked. (Unfortunately I have been hooked on the Green Bay Packers for the last 40 years!) Though I am just starting out on Twitter, I can feel the progrow already oozing from my veins! As tech coordinator and fourth grade teacher, it has energized me professionally in so many ways.

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    • jsteltz says:

      Dave-Thank you so much for reading and responding. I think it’s cool that your school has a tech coordinator. I would like to know more about your role as tech coord.

      I agree with you as you probably got from my post…Twitter has energized me professionally.

      Like

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