For the past 6 months, I’ve been using Twitter for communicating to teachers and parents, as a shared professional development tool and as a professional learning network (PLN) builder. OK I check the Philly sports conversation and local and international newswires as well. Educationally speaking, I’ve followed and become inspired by the likes of principals Eric Sheninger, Chris Lehman, Lyn Hilt as well as Illinois Teacher of the Year Josh Stumpenhorst, who embrace their vocation in working for kids at school and at home. I’ve found and participated in some amazing weekly educational chats thanks to following Jerry Blumengarten. Those who regularly follow this blog know that parents and teachers come together on Wednesday nights in a collaborative and transparent conversation about important topics during #PTchat.
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I write this blog because it helps me reflect on two of my greatest passions, technology and family engagement. It wasn’t until I found Twitter that I realized I needed a blog to truly reflect on my practice with transparency, a necessity for today’s leaders. Twitter has become a game changer for me. When I’m away from it, I think about the tweets I’m missing–although my wife is happy to have my complete attention. I know for a fact that I have become a better learner and leader because of this powerful tool. Best of all, Twitter provide educators and parents the opportunity to role model digital citizenship when using social media on a daily basis.
Together, we need to Tweet It Forward. Help other educators and parents discover this tool. The more excitement we bring to the field regarding it’s use, the more likely district policies will no longer be created to prevent it’s use, but to harness the opportunity for professional sharing. What busy parent wouldn’t want to experience a magazine-like layout of school tweets in realtime? The more people we teach about Twitter, the greater, more influential and well-rounded our shared PLN becomes.
A colleague and I are scheduled to teach a Twitter 101 to ten other district principals in April – a session I feel will help take our district to the next level in terms of professional development, reflection and collaboration. How will we plan for it? We will ask our Twitter PLN to share resources that worked for them.
The field of education is a better place when teachers, principals, parents and superintendents are tweeting.
Please consider passing this post along (via email or hardcopy) to those who haven’t yet signed up for Twitter. I encourage you to share in the comments below how it has changed your practice, your reflection and your collaboration whether you’ve been on Twitter for a few years or a few weeks.
Here’s an inspiring video of an entire district ‘Tweeting It Forward’
Special thanks to Oak-Lawn Hometown School District.
New to Twitter? Check out these resourceful tweeps