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Thursday, October 23, 2014

An Open Letter to Our District Staff about Twitter

Here's my Twitter Handle... Tweet Me Maybe?
                In a time when we are asked to continually do more with less, I have found a breath of fresh air that makes the "more" much easier.  Social media has always been something I've seen as a way to vent or catch up with old friends or former students.  When I ventured onto Twitter I thought it was great that I could see all of the news from around the world so quickly.  That was the extent to which I thought my Twitter usage would be utilized.  Then my eyes opened to the endless professional possibilities available on Twitter.  In establishing my PLN (Professional Learning Network), I've discovered other educators experiencing the same frustrations as I am.  These educators have offered sage advice and a spring board to reinvigorating my daily pedagogy.  I've long thought that I wasn't meeting the students where they are; I was assuming they would meet me where I was.  This assumption added a tremendous amount of frustration to my daily life in the classroom as I realized my relevance to my students had a short lifespan. 
                Additionally, I found chats on Twitter that happen everyday of the week that connect me to educators around the world.  I now have connections in over 30 countries and just about every state in the US, and these connections have so many great ideas and solutions to things with which I've been struggling. 
                This year, I am teaching a Digital Citizenship class that requires me to create a curriculum rich in content while connected to the Common Core.  I've connected with educators in the same situation and we are sharing ideas.  I've connected with educators who have already implemented this class and are sharing their successes and challenges.  Instead of feeling isolated in creating a new curriculum, I have a wealth of resources that before Twitter and my PLN was non existent. 
                Professional development is something that we all crave; however, I think we have all felt at one point in our career, that maybe there was more out there.  Twitter allows for differentiated PD that YOU choose.  Have a passion for something education or curriculum related? Dive in!  Have questions about how other 3rd grade or  7th grade (etc.) teachers are dealing with the Common Core? Dive in!  Looking for tech help? Dive in!  The list goes on and on!
                Beyond those resources, I've found things like Mystery Skype which sets you up with a classroom anywhere in the world so you can learn, create, and collaborate in real world projects.  What a motivation for students!                
                There are so many things I'm learning everyday that I can't begin to list all of them here.  I feel it is so important for students to see us being life long learners if we expect them to be eager learners and eventually life long learners.  I can help guide you if you are interested in Twitter, or you can just dive in and explore on your own! Happy Tweeting!!     

My Twitter handle: @apgovme                                                          

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