Our keynote speaker, "The Library Girl" @jenniferlagarde, was inspiring as always. Jennifer encouraged all of us to share our stories, to be our own media sources, and to get the word out about what's great in our schools and classrooms. Many of our teachers responded, and have since joined the wonderful place that is Twitter!
I love Twitter and have been a member for several years and each year my interaction with Twitter changes, but the value of the network I've created is immeasurable. Here are some tips or ideas that helped me grow my PLN (Personal Learning Network).
- Lurk for awhile. When I joined Twitter initially it was very, very intimidating. I had no idea who to follow, or how to even get started finding folks to follow. To be honest I don't remember my Twitter infancy. Starting out, I followed coworkers, and searched hashtags for things that interested me, and followed some of the individuals that were tweeting about things I wanted to learn more about. I didn't tweet much at all, but I followed many and read, a lot.
- Check out a chat. Educators all over the world participate in Twitter chats using various hashtags. There are sooo many different chats available and there is something out there for everyone. You can find a schedule of them here.I've participated in #kinderchat and #edchat and enjoyed the experience each time. Sites like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite are helpful with keeping up with chats as they can move very quickly.
- Use hashtags. Add hashtags to your tweets, and search for information by using hashtags. Create a hashtag for all of your tweets and share it with your students/parents. This can help create a community discussion. Searching by hashtags is also a great way to find great information. For example I've learned a great deal from #daily5.
- Use it! Twitter can be a 24/7 PD opportunity. Follow great educators that are sharing great ideas, and you can learn all day everyday. The great thing about Twitter is that is always there for you. Reach out to your PLN for help and more often than not they will be just what you need. I use my PLN to find #mysteryskype participants to get connected to classrooms all across the world.
Good luck, happy tweeting, and let's connect!