Why educators should start a blog and join Twitter
Tomorrow morning, I’ll make a presentation at 7:30 in the morning to get our district technology camp started. My topic is “Building your Professional Learning Network,” and will focus on how professionals can use social media to enhance their skills. As I prepared, I thought a lot about my audience, some dedicated educators from our schools who are facing the constant challenge of doing more with less. My job is to convince those gathered that it is worth their valuable time to create their own digital footprint. After some reflection, here’s my 6 point argument:
Twitter and blogs connect you with smart people from around the world.
Thinking about my own PLN, there are classroom teachers, administrators, college professors, consultants, and others connected to education that have ideas that allow me to learn more. Articles, perspectives, and strategies are shared that enhance the work that I do in my professional practice.
Twitter and blogs are always available.
My schedule, like everyone else in our profession, is rather hectic. Some mornings I leave before the sun comes out and I return home after the sun has gone down. If I have 10 minutes to look at what is new on twitter or in the blogosphere or 2 hours, there is always ample material to think about.
Whatever your passion, there is someone out there to learn with.
If you’re fired up about reading, elementary education, leadership, core curriculum, world language, or anything else, you can find someone else talking about it on Twitter. I believe that teachers know where they need to grow and what they want to learn about. Social networking allows educators to find their own PD, anytime.
Collaboration is key.
As I posted recently, our business model is all about collaboration. District and local collaboration is outstanding, as is hearing from colleagues from around the country.
Articulating your values makes you a better educator.
It is not enough just to read and take in the information online. You must be a contributor. You’ll encounter some that agree and others that do not. These moments allow you to really clarify who you are and what you are about. Research tells us that reflection leads to better professional practice, these tools allow you to do so.
Education is a profession, not a job. To show the general public this fact, we must all contribute.
You never know who your readers are. While some will be your colleagues from our profession, others will be parents or the general public. A blog and twitter allow you to advocate for our profession, simply by sharing the work you are doing.
I plan to close tomorrow by challenging those gathered to join the conversation on twitter and to start blogging about their work. It will enhance everyone’s professional practice.