I constantly spread the message of Twitter to those who will listen. (My coworkers have heard that message....a lot.) There are a few who utilize Twitter at my building, but I'm on a mission to encourage more people to use it. So, I sat down in a notebook and compiled a list of reasons to use Twitter. Although I'm sure there are more great reasons to use the social media outlet, here is what I came up with.
It's Free & Easy to use!
There's not much else to say about this fact. IT'S FREE! Create an account and get started. There really isn't much of a learning curve with Twitter.
Connect with other educators
There is nothing better than connecting with other educators who share your passions, love to collaborate, and challenge your thinking. In my opinion, those are three essential pieces to any quality PD: collaborate, share passions, challenge your thinking.
There are weekly #chats where educators come together to discuss ideas. I've been involved in many and have never walked away without a new idea. #chats can be grade-level specific (#5thchat, #1stchat, etc) , or can just be about an educational idea/revolution (#tlap, #llap). There are so many chats, and it's easy to take part. You can post any tweet with those hashtags, as well, and anyone who searches the hashtags can see it.
On your own time & 365 days of access
No one tells me when to logon to Twitter. No one tells me how long I need to spend on Twitter to earn a "PD point". But despite these things, I find myself constantly logging on to read and discuss different topics and ideas relevant to education.
Sense of community
This point ties in with connecting with other educators. The individuals I've encountered on Twitter have been nothing but helpful. I've tweeted requests for resources, and I've tweeted questions, and each time multiple people respond. Although your tweets initially are seen by your followers, your followers can retweet it to their followers, and BOOM, you've just reached more people within minutes of posting.
In the current era of PD-driven education Twitter is invaluable. Twitter is not a burden. It is not "another thing" to do. It's really become a part of the "dough" of my teaching. Start small, and as you become comfortable with it tweet more often, get involved in #chats, and have fun! Share your experiences.
The question should be: Why not use Twitter?
Are you a Twitter user? What are some other benefits of using Twitter?