Friday, May 18, 2012
Twitter the Best PD going!
I am a department chair at my school. This means that I teach two classes and supervise the department during the other hours of my day. This year, due to a spike in enrollment, I taught two sections of AP US History. I will not get into the details of the year but I will speak briefly about the impact the AP course has had on me the last 3 weeks!
I would classify myself as a Twitter newbie when it comes to using the medium for professional purposes. That usefulness was relayed to me at the Teaching the iGeneration workshop I attended earlier this semester. Since then I have been managing multiple streams with pertinent hashtags, following dozens of Ed. leaders, teachers, and bloggers, writing a bit (and posting it), and dabbling in Twitter chats (which I still have not fully figured out!).
Then....BOOM! (a couple people I follow use this as they Retweet great stuff, I love it!) The AP crunch hit me and it hit me hard. I found myself reviewing with groups of students, preparing review activities, planning a pre-AP test breakfast...etc. I would gaze at the pinned Hootsuite tab on my Chrome and make a decision, can't now! I would open the iPad to check email and the FlipBoard app seemed to be begging to be opened. I passed.
Here is what I learned during this 8 day hiatus.
1. I can walk away for a while, it is possible.
2. I did not miss the devices or the technology or the bells and whistles. I missed the advice, conversations, links to pertinent articles, reassurance, and the professional connectedness
3. I do not want to disconnect for a stretch like that again.
The reason is that Twitter has introduced me to an ongoing conference, a non-stop workshop, and an ongoing PLC meeting. It allows me to come and go and to grab what I need. I get to eavesdrop on some meaningful conversations that are often directly related to questions we are asking at our school. I was beginning to develop what I can only assume is some Twitter confidence to start posting more myself. I was beginning to leverage the # and tried a scheduled chat (#edchat). I have missed the professional gratification and development the last few days.
As I look to next school year I know I am going to schedule in "Twitter" time on a daily basis. One year ago I would have laughed at that. To take 15-20 minutes each day to check the feeds and streams and line up articles and blogs to read later is Professional time well spent. So, while I missed the Twitter PD over the past few days I have learned its usefulness and my need to incorporate it meaningfully into my daily routine and plan. Best PD going!