Growing your PLN through Twitter
This summer I made a huge life choice by leaving teaching and entering the educational technology industry to continue my work with SPU School of Ed and the Digital Educational Leadership program. I moved from Seattle to San Francisco and started working for Edmodo as the Community Growth Manager. I believe that a piece of that is due to my time on social media and growing my professional learning network. The way I used social media made me thrive and build my support base to believe in what I was doing in the classroom and for my career. As George Siemens states “a central tenet of most learning theories is that learning occurs inside a person. Even social constructivist views, which hold that learning is a socially enacted process, promotes the principality of the individual (and her/his physical presence – i.e. brain-based) in learning” (2005). Educators need to figure out how to utilize the tools that we have available in place on the world wide web and by doing so we can harness the global collaborative power of teachers around the world. Teachers can use Twitter to connect with new educators, communicate what really happens on the job, create a public professional persona to help students know what it means to have self-awareness and positive online self-management. During April, 2017 I created and ran a Global Collaborative Project that used Twitter in the classroom. I appreciated this video to help spur my students inspiration by Ted Ed – What makes a poem … a poem? – Melissa Kovacs
Workshop Title and Description
Presentation Session “Growing your PLN with Twitter” – Educators are using Twitter to grow their professional learning network, sharing resources, and building the global educational community. I am one of the PSESD Washington Teacher Leaders for Twitter this year, and I want to share how this program and the use of
Twitter has made me a better more informed teacher. Twitter can be a way to create a strong professional social media platform for yourself to help promote what you are doing in your classroom every day. I think this topic is important because teachers spend so much of their time alone. We have our classrooms and our students but when it comes to honest peer-to-peer contact it takes so much time and investment. Some teachers don’t ever make those important connections with their colleagues in their building and Twitter or other Social Learning Networks are crucial for creating new conversations with people outside of your building.
In 2015, Denise Scavitto wrote an article Teachers: Embrace Twitter for Professional Development and I appreciate the way she explains the reason behind using Twitter to grow a PLN. “For me, Twitter is a way of consuming information targeted to my interests. Using a hashtag like #sschat connects me to topics that will interest and intrigue Social Studies teachers – from all walks of life – and all because I know what to look for. Twitter isn’t overwhelming anymore – it’s incredible. I’ve connected myself to an extensive personal learning network of educators, entrepreneurs, and innovators through a little bird – and found it the best professional development I’ve never paid for” (Edudemic).
Learning Objective Event
My objective is to create a presentation for my session on teachers using Twitter to grow their PLN. There are 600 educators are registered for the conference total. I am not sure if anyone has signed up for my session yet, but I am hoping to talk to around 30 teachers specifically about my topic. The conference I am CCS Powerful Learning Conference in Issaquah, WA on August 16th, 2017. I already submitted a small proposal and got it accepted in November. I have a handout but may need to complete a couple more. The venue is the CCS Powerful Learning Conference at Issaquah High School in my old district. I was inspired to submit a request because I went to the conference last year and I wanted to show growth by speaking at the next year’s conference.
My presentation should be one hour and fifteen minutes long. That is the required length. I think it would be essential to provide blended content. I could probably make it a lot longer but this will help me limit and edit my work. I also submitted a proposal to NCCE for their 50-minute session. I think I can cut a lot of my material out if I could accomplish a true flipped or blended learning environment.
- Active and engaged learning
Twitter in Plain English
Common Misconceptions & FAQ
- The first one is that 140 characters are not enough to have a productive conversations. But my counter to that one is imagine you are in a meeting with 20 of your closest friends in your department or staff. How much content do you add in that 45 to 60 minute meeting? With the addition of pictures it opens a whole other place for content. The 140 characters also limits people from venting, blabbing, and allows for constraint when we know sometimes educational meetings can run long.
- If you don’t have a lot of followers then there isn’t any point. But I disagree because it is more important about how you use the platform. To gain followers you must use the platform on a consistent basis.
- Hashtags are just trendy things for young people and are not professional enough to take serious. I think that if it is for “young people” then that in itself is a reason to give it a try. It keeps you current and it also allows you to connect with your students. If teachers are not constantly learning then they are taking steps backwards.
- Twitter for communication and collaboration come with the the idea that it is only for some politicians and weird bots who spam up your feed. But I think that is another way to show to students, parents, and admin that it does not always have to be ran that way. It can be “boring” as my students said when they found and read my twitter feed. I said it isn’t boring to me it is what I am interested in and what I like to talk about.
Gates Foundation (Ed.). (2014). Teachers Know Best What Educators Want from Digital Instructional Tools. Retrieved August 13, 2017, from http://www.teachersknowbest.org/survey-results/1
Morris, K. (2017, May 11). Step 2: Using Twitter to Build Your PLN. Retrieved August 13, 2017, from https://teacherchallenge.edublogs.org/pln-challenge-3-using-twitter-to-build-your-pln/
Scavitto, D. (2015, April 17). Teachers: Embrace Twitter for Professional Development. Retrieved July 14, 2017, from http://www.edudemic.com/teachers-embrace-twitter-professional-development/
Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved August 13, 2017, from http://www.itdl.org/journal/jan_05/article01.htm