Notes to accompany CPD session 05/03/15.
Is Twitter useful for CPD?
I’ll admit I was a bit sceptical at first but @MrHumanities talked me into signing up to Twitter for professional use at my first Teachmeet in December 2013 so I’ve been on for just over a year and I’ve gone from cynic to enthused convert. Mainly for predictable reasons but for some unexpected ones too…
I’ve seen lots of great ideas that inspire me; I like a boost to keep my enthusiasm high and Twitter has been a source of great positivity.
Twitter keeps me informed of events, particularly Teachmeets, happening in the local area. More on why I love Teachmeets here.
I find that if you want to discuss ideas there’s a load of educators to engage with.
I’ve also discovered @EduBookChatUK which is where fellow educational literature geeks meet to reflect and discuss their recent reading.
My favourite thing on the Internet is @Pedagoo which is a group of educators anyone can join who share blogs and great ideas. You can see loads of these ideas and inspiration on #PedagooFriday each week. My blog on Why Pedagoo? can be found here.
I’ve made friends! I never expected to connect with people in the way I have because of Twitter and Teachmeets but I feel I’ve made real friends because of this. It may be due to the lack of a social life I have as a teacher but it is great to connect positively with so many people.
It’s a global teacher support network. If you want a resource/idea/contact/guidance there’s someone on Twitter who will help you out. I’ll openly admit that @ICTEvangelist has answered many of my stupid questions on tech use for which I’m hugely grateful.
There’s also loads of blogs posted with great reflections on up to date topics allowing me to enrich my understanding and widen my perspective on educational issues and pedagogical techniques.
There’s many other minor reasons but in summary it keeps me informed and enthused about education. So if you’re convinced my advice for first steps would be as follows:-
1) Just log on and create an account, once you’ve got your password and Twitter handle sorted you’re in business.
2) Stick in a short biography so people know what you’re interested in, it makes it easier to connect with you.
3) Add a photo; people are wary of the egg. It’s amusing as you could be anyone online but people respond positively to a picture.
4) Imagine anything you post could be read by the national press, your boss, friends, parents, students and well anyone. Then remember that before you post anything you may regret.
5) Choose how you want to use it. It really is your choice. Some people are Lurkers who never interact but watch and read. That’s fine, it’s your account. Some favourite and retweet (RT) but don’t directly engage. Some engage and discuss with a small number and some with anyone. The key is to make Twitter do what you want it to do, not the other way round. The machines aren’t our masters just yet, Siri told me so. There’s also those who actively engage using a pseudonym or sobriquet. I regularly chat with @ImSporticus but have no idea who this person is. That doesn’t make our dialogue any lesson valuable as a learning experience.
6) Find interesting people to follow, I’ve included some Twitter sourced recommendations below. You can follow non-educationalists too BUT never follow students.
7) A final warning; if this is your professional account it’s ok to share a little bit of personal stuff and personality but remember point 4.
8) Be nice; the world needs more sharing and positivity. Don’t spoil the Internet for me;)
Recommendations to follow:
This list was sourced from the good folk of Twitter for two reasons. Firstly to get a diverse and up to date list of recommendations. Secondly to demonstrate how willing the Twitter community rally round to help out. Edited for ease of formatting for Blog, NOT word for word quotes.
@FeDuncs – most inspirational teacher with some amazing ideas. Kids eat out of the palm of her hands. Recommend by @BestNicci
@ASTsupportAAli – for his blogs and gigantic bank of free educational resources. Recommended by @MissBsResources
@ICTEvangelist – consistent good advice and extraordinary tech God, who you need to know in this fast paced digital era. Recommend by @MissBsResources
@johnjohnston a quiet and thoughtful educator. Recommended by @IanStewat66
@KerryPulleyn and @CreativeNorton worth adding to your list. Recommend by @PeteJackson32
I manage Eal and @EAL_naldic @EALACADEMY are indispensable resources now that local emass support are mostly on the dole now. Recommend by @sarspari11a
@MrsMathia That’s good to share whole school for hints and tips for everyone #notjustNQTs. Recommended by @FeDuncs
We couldn’t put @Totallywired77 on the list even though @FeDuncs recommended him as he was opposed to being on a list;)
@jim1982 and @LA_McDermott also recommended by @FeDuncs
@musicmind recommended by @ICTEvangelist for her ninja skills. Hatsumi Sensi would be proud.
I’ve not added my personal recommendations as the whole purpose was go get an eclectic mix selected by Twitter. It also shows if you ask Twitter you’ll get a response.
Further Reading: @dan_brinton has an excellent blog with many more relevant blogs linked to it here.
Hope you all enjoy the brave new world of online CPD that is Twitter.
Barry Dunn – @SeahamRE