I am already somewhat active on Twitter, but that’s not to say that I use it to its potential. Prior to this assignment, I had explored Tweetdeck, and I already had an account established, but never used it simply because it was “one more thing” to add to my ever growing list of tools I want to learn about. With this assignment I was able to explore it in depth, and WOW!
There are a few hashtags I already use regularly, so I decided to use this an opportunity to look for new hashtags. As a result, I added the following hashtags to my Tweetdeck:
#HistEdChat- History Education Chat
#TLChat- Teacher Leader Chat
#EducCoach- Education Coach
#HistoryTeacher- History Teacher
#EduLeader- Education Leader
From the initial explorations of these hashtags, I have come across a few observations and resources. First of all, in the conversation on #tlchat, I loved the dialogue among the educators. Many posted questions asking for specific informaiton, and those questions were answered. How awesome is that? Additionally, the #HistoryTeacher hashtag has quite a few conversations going regarding needs for teaching resources. This will definitely be a go-to resource when I am looking for resource for my classes. I can easily get myself lost in the exploration of the links that people have posted. For example, the site 37 Best Websites for Learning , sent me down an excited rabbit hole or learning!
Although I have had teachers question this statement, I believe that Twitter is a powerful source of professional development. I can choose to focus on my areas of interest, need, or passion. I can connect with people who are not simply consultants, but people who actually practice what they share. Yes, there is only so much one can learn in 140 characters, but the real power comes from the sharing of the resources and the follow-up discussions that often occur. One can simply lurk along on Twitter to get what he or she needs from an extended network, but sharing resources allows us to develop stronger connections and therefore stronger learning communities.