Sunday, September 29, 2013

Why I'm Using Twitter, and You Should Too!

I am completely against promoting “one more thing” for teachers.  Because there are a billion resources marketed to teachers, all vying for our time, and often, our money.  Twitter is not “one more thing” to keep track of; rather, it becomes your very own Personal Learning Network, which is made up of experts, colleagues, and friends that will give you honest feedback.  I can’t imagine a better way to learn and grow.

I scroll through Twitter for two reasons: to learn and to grow.  What have I learned?  Well, #TCRWP (The Teachers College of Reading and Writing Project)  has taught me how to best use checklists to help our students become better writers. I’ve asked the writers of the books questions about assessment, teaching grammar, as well as “Help!  I’m teaching 4th grade and my students are so confused between Narrative and Realistic Fiction. Ideas?”

I learned that copious numbers of teachers are recommending the book Counting by 7’s, so I picked it up and fell in love with it.  I learned  ----- I learn when new TedEd talks appear.   I’ve learned how Karl Fisch is using the ideas within Mindset with his math students.  And yes, sometimes I learn that or Chris Lehman is going for a run, but I don’t care, because often I hear his own insights and thinking into his own research regarding writing.  Maybe I learn that Stephanie Harvey, Cris Tovani, or Kelly Gallagher is stuck in an airport, and that’s okay, because a few minutes later I learn what they are reading, writing, or pondering.

And that helps ME to read, write, and ponder. I need to do these things to reflect and grow.  I need to think about the questions that are put forth, as well as ask my own questions and offer my own reflections.  You know those little gems, those nuggets of wisdom that you hear at a conference?  I put it on Twitter.  One, to remember it myself, and share that it is something I value.  Two, to share with everyone else.  Because I think all of my Twitter colleagues can benefit from seeing the tweet: “Mistakes are expected.  Mistakes are respected.  Mistakes are inspected.”  I think anyone and everyone can be richer from seeing this post:  Love this short & engaging video about mindset. I'm planning on sharing this with parents, staff, and students

Are you interested?  Connect and create your personal learning network!



  1. Laura,
    I believe you are right on the money. Twitter is a great learning tool.. for all the reasons you mentioned. It takes a few times to get the hang of it for those getting started and you need to follow 50+ to get started and create that network. I to hesitate to encourage another tool, but this is at the top of my list for teacher learning. :-)

  2. You've convinced me! I've never taken the time to really explore Twitter because I just assumed it was about the inane activities in people's lives. Apparently, I'm missing out on an entirely new way of learning. I will explore this later this weekend, and yes, I will follow all three of you! I look forward to learning and growing with you, Laura. Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. I have not become active in Twitter yet, as I have felt like it was one more thing to do. But being able to hear ideas from other people is important. When we are able to collaborate and get ideas from people across the country, or even the world, I should take advantage of this. I could be as active as I want to be with Twitter - either creating my own posts, or just following other peoples. Making sure to keep up with what others are doing is a great way to hold myself accountable in trying new things.

  4. Love your comments, Laura! I agree with you that Twitter is a great place to learn and grow. A challenge I've had is making time to access it - making it a part of my 'checking in' routine and also, discovering the best fit for folks to follow.
    Guess what- I'm now following you!

  5. After attending a recent Mark Overmeyer training, in which he continually referenced Twitter and who he follows, I bit the bullet and joined Twitter... I'm still not sure what I'm doing.
    I plan on only using it as a professional tool, and have started to follow educators that not only Mark recommended, but ones that my coworkers suggest. I really want to like it, but I'm not sure I'm into it enough yet.
    Maybe I need to dig deeper for those gems. Commit more time to click on the links and read more articles. I'm intrigued and I'm on... but I'm still trying to learn.