Sunday, June 2, 2013

Summer Learning: Twitter

If you're like me, you have just begun your summer vacation.  To my friends still with a month to go, have no fear your time will come!  This means time to relax, refresh, and spend time on things you do not have time for during the school year.  Why not make a goal to develop yourself professionally a little bit each week. There are many easy, user friendly, accessible, FREE resources to develop yourself as an educator.  My next few blog posts will give you a variety of resources for professional development, and the best way to use them. 

Twitter is an excellent place to connect with educators from around the world.   "Tweets" can be anything from a thought, to a website, a photo, really anything under 140 characters.  One of the best ways to connect is to follow people.  When you follow someone, you can see what they post, who follows them, and who they follow.  You can choose to follow their people and so on.  "Following" someone allows you to see what they tweet.  
If you follow people who are interested in education, like me (WARNING here's the shameless plug, follow me @chrissie62573), you have access to anything they have learned or found to be interesting.  I find my time on twitter reading blogs and websites, just skimming through things other people have found to be interesting.  The great thing about Twitter is that each tweet can only be 140 characters so its easy to get the gist of an article quickly.  You don't spend a lot of time reading through half an article to find out that its not what you were looking for.  
Another way to find interesting information onTwitter is to search by hashtag. A "hashtag" (this symbol #) followed by a word, phrase or acronym that groups together similar themed tweets.  For example, #edchat is a hashtag devoted to a conversation surrounding a selected topic for the week.  If you wanted to find the conversation, and participate you would search for #edchat and follow the conversation.  
When you are ready to share you can link blogs that you find, or mark your tweets with hashtags. 

I hope that you find that twitter is an engaging, exciting, influential tool that kick starts your summer PD.  Check back soon to find the next tool to continue your summers's professional development. 

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