When it comes to useful PD, more educators are turning to Twitter to grow learning networks in 140 characters
These days, it’s hard to meet an educator who hasn’t heard of Twitter. But how many use it? While some might question if the social media platform can help with professional development (PD), there are others who know just how much potential rests in 140 characters.
The universally-recognizable blue bird can do a lot to expand educators’ personal and/or professional learning networks (PLNs), as it turns out. During an ISTE 2016 session, three Twitter experts offered guidance to those seeking to expand their Twitter horizons.
Twitter chats–when users show up at a common time and use a specific hashtag to have a conversation and respond to questions issued by a chat moderator–can introduce educators to peers, role models, those who challenge their opinions, and can prompt new and exciting views of what education means today.
Twitter chats open up new PD possibilities, said Jessica Raleigh, personalized learning program manager for Denver Public Schools and organizer of the #bfc530 Twitter chat.
“I think it’s really powerful to have someone asking questions and forcing you to think about your own practice. That’s PD at its best,” she said.
During the session, all three experts shared some of their best tips:
Using hashtags with every tweet helps build up your community. “When you’re using a hashtag regularly, you get to know other people using the same tag, and it becomes part of a community,” Raleigh said. “If you have that community and you use a hashtag, you’re going to get responses from that community. You get to know people.”