Why join Twitter?
Twitter is a phenomenal professional development tool for all educators. The bite size 140 characters mean that you can get your professional development anywhere, in the supermarket, in your pyjamas or at school. Twitter also means that you can have ongoing conversations with real educators sharing their stories. You can ask them questions, learn from their mistakes and their successes. Twitter allows you to expand your learning far beyond any staff room professional development.
New to Twitter?
Step 1: Dip your toe in! No commitment necessary
Go to the Twitter site and see for yourself what some of the fabulous educators in New Zealand are talking about.
In the search bar, search for some of the great conversations that are going on at any given moment. Twitter works a lot like a library catalogue. By adding a hashtag in front of any word, it makes it searchable. A hashtag is like a digital paper clip that collects everyone's thoughts about something in one place. Searching for #edchatNZ will reveal some of the great conversations and resources shared by New Zealand educators.
Step 2: Have a fling
Create your very own Twitter account. This will allow you to ask others questions about what they have shared, share your own thoughts, or promote good thoughts of others.
Step 3: Time to define the relationship
Now that you are all set up and have had a taste of Twitter, start participating in some of the regular chats. Retweet things you feel are worthwhile and let others know when you appreciate what they have shared. Think of yourself as a digital librarian, curating content with your unique lens added.
New to #edchatNZ?
Every second Thursday at 8:30pm during term time, #edchatNZ hosts a live Twitter conversation where we talk about an education issues, ideas, practice or anything else relevant. This gives you the opportunity to participate in challenging and inspirational professional conversation on a regular basis. See the time and date for chats on our #edchatNZ calendar.
Step 1: Right time, right place.
Log on to Twitter at the designated time. You can see the time and date of chats on our calendar. In the search bar, search for the chat's hashtag. Alternatively, use a site such as Tweetdeck. This allows you to set up columns for hashtags which makes the conversation easier to follow.
Step 2: What to talk about.
Throughout the chat, the moderator will ask questions. Hence, keep an eye out for what the moderator is saying during the chat. These will start with a question number. When you contribute your answer, start with a capital A and the question number to show what you are responding to. Add your answer and then add the chat's hashtag so that others can find your contribution in the discussion.
Step 3: Challenge, Provoke. Question
The quality of any chat is dependent on the contributions. So make sure that you retweet what you think is worthwhile, that you ask questions of those who contribute something provoking, and that you share your thoughts.
Where to Next?
There are a number of ways you can challenge yourself to a greater extent in this learning community. Try some of the following on for size!
Have a go at responding to our Devil's Advocate, a designated person in every chat aiming to challenge your thinking. Or, if you think you can really handle a challenge, email danielle@edchatNZ.com to volunteer as devil's advocate.
Have you read and commented on the great teacher blogs that are out there? These blogs explore everything from pedagogy and practice to leadership. Commenting on a blog also adds more depth to the discussion. See the #edblogNZ for some great New Zealand education blogs!
Have you started your own blog yet to record your reflections and learning journey in more depth? Starting your own blog will make you a more effective practitioner, but it will also allow others to learn from your successes and failures.
Attend a free EduCamp or Ignite event in your area to further develop the connections you have made online. Other professional development events such as ULearn, Ignition and more will also help you do this.