I am endlessly looking for satisfying professional development as a teacher and leader. But what does good professional development usually look like? To me the best type is the PD where I get to network with colleagues from many different backgrounds. How often do we get to attend PD’s such as these? Once maybe twice a year?
What if you could get this type of PD as many times a week as you liked, right in the comfort of your own home? You could choose how much you interacted? Sounds too good to be true right?
I have recently found twitter chat. It is the most fabulous PD for teachers.
So if you are as I was a couple of months ago you are probably wondering what is a twitter chat and why would I want to sign up to twitter at all.
If you have never heard of twitter before…… twitter is a social networking site which allows you to post tweets. Unlike Facebook and other social media sites twitter only allows you to use 140 characters in each tweet. You tag people using their twitter handle or username for example @cmcaton is mine. You follow people to create your feed and they follow you back. You can like posts, share post (retweet), reply and message.
So back to twitter chat. A twitter chat is a facilitated chat that uses a particular #hashtag so that you can follow the conversation. Generally a facilitator post questions and followers of the #hashtag post responses based on their experience or expertise. These chats last for about an hour.
#aussieED one hashtag that runs a regular twitter chat on Sunday evenings at 7.30EST. There are a variety of topics that are discussed and in general about 7 questions.
#digitaledchat is another hashtag with regular twitter chats.
Can’t make the live twitter chat that’s ok, just type in the hashtag and you can view the discussion and make comments or ask questions at a time that is convenient to you.
Why is the best PD?
- I don’t like the focus, I don’t participate.
- I don’t have to write a report and present it to everyone.
- I can take the bits that I liked and note them down for try it now or try it later.
- Things that I want to try later I have connections to a broad range of people that might be able to assist me.
- I have connected with people from different countries, education systems, year level perspectives and different levels of experience.
- I can do it when I want and for how long I want.
- There are so many different ideas presented.
You might think that a 1 hour twitter chat can’t be as good as a day long PD but I beg to differ. I don’t know about you but I find it difficult to completely engage in PD for a whole day. After the first session I’m trying to digest what I just heard and work out how to incorporate it into my current teaching practice, or if I should (a discussion for another day).
The majority of the people involved in the twitter chat are current working teachers, with the same problems that we all face and therefore the advice and suggestions that they offer are reflections of what is currently happening in their classrooms.
Why don’t you try a twitter chat? I wish I had earlier, I couldn’t understand the whole point of this twitter thing and now I do, it’s a marvellous networking tool.
Looking to try a twitter chat and not sure how. Please contact me using the contact form or alternatively message me through our facebook page.