Summer break is upon us, and while you are planning vacations, sitting by the pool, or enjoying your favorite music festival there is still the ever looming professional development days most states and districts require. We have all been there looking over the list of days your district has for you dreading or wondering what you will have to go to or sit through. You may even wonder will this even be tailored to fit the needs of my students or myself. So I made it a mission to help myself in the classroom, and this will be part one of my journey.
Most of you have heard of Twitter; it is the social media site which allows you 140 characters or less to get your message across. I had been on Twitter since the beginning; I was fortunate to get my name @jacobdunn as my “Twitter handle.” For the first few years of being on Twitter, I treated it like a Facebook that never took off. Many of my Facebook friends never made it to the social site, and I used it as a way to consume content that was interesting to me.
Five years ago I began blogging about teaching and discovered the world of Twitter. I thought could share my blog with thousands of teachers. I then discovered other teachers doing the same as I, creating content and exchanging what they knew. It wasn’t until 2015 I began participating in educational Twitter chats on a regular basis.I admittedly was disappointed I hadn’t done it any sooner. Within the past year, I have learned so much from my colleagues on Twitter. I have expanded my professional learning network (PLN) and made wonderful connections with teachers all around the world.
Using Twitter may seem very intimidating at first, and you are more than welcome to ask me any question you may have about using it. You are probably wondering how you may participate in a Twitter chat. Twitter uses the hashtag as a way for people of like mind to search for specific topics. One of the first Twitter chats I participated in is possibly the largest of all chats #edchat. I was very overwhelmed at first, so many people seeming to go hundreds of miles an hour on a topic about education. I did learn a lot from this chat but since then I have branched off to more relevant conversations which benefit my teaching. I still go back to #edchat often. The most Twitter chats I am active in are; #BFC530, #sschat, #TNTechChat, and #TNEdchat. Being a Social Studies teacher in Tennessee, you can see my where my focus is.
The first step for you to explore the world of Twitter should join an Ed Chat. If you are and English teacher I recommend #Engchat or a second-grade teacher #2ndchat. I will add a link below which has the list of all Twitter chats.
Wanting more information on Twitter? Check out this link, or you may contact me on here or on Twitter @jacobdunn
Happy connecting through Twitter! Part II will be over Podcasts and hopefully will come within the next week.