Saturday, February 26, 2011

1000 tweets and counting (My Twitter Journey)

      Last week, I reached a milestone in my career as an educator. I did not win any award, raise any test scores, or publish any material. Instead I tweeted. In fact, I made my 1,000th tweet. It means that I have interacted, shared, collaborated, and learned over a 1,000 times with almost as many people. It is a kind of magical touchstone that made me reflect on all twitter has done for me. Twitter has changed my life. And although this humble post will try to shed some light on how this has occurred, I really don't think words can express my thanks to everybody I have encountered and added to my PLN via Twitter.


      It all started in June of 2009 with this measily seven word tweet


  
       For the next seven to eight months, I used Twitter sporadically. Usually this was to inform people with updates on my sock color or the torture I felt being a Giants fan. While there is nothing wrong with this use of Twitter, it wasn't something that I felt necessary to my daily existence (oh have times changed). Then in March of 2010 I had the opportunity to be on an accreditation team where David Lopez (@Mister_Lopez) informed me of a Personalized Learning Network. He showed me how Twitter allowed him to connect, share, and learn from other teachers throughout the country and world. I was hooked. And everyday since my love has grown stronger. Here are just some of the things I have learned from my PLN on Twitter. (Mind you I finished grad school in the spring and almost none of this was discussed)

a) given me confidence as an educator
b) tips, tricks, and ideas for lesson plans
c) the term Web 2.0
d) shown me how to use Web 2.0 tools for authentic learning and sharing
e) made me a tech geek
d) share student knowledge globally 
f) connections matter
e) people are amazing in their ability to help strangers
g) made me an avid blog reader
h) inspired me to share my ideas on my own blog (beardedteacher.blogspot.com)
i) grades are often not true indicators
j) inspired me to let go and give my students autonomy
k) taught me why external motivation and rewards stunt creativity
l) attend conferences without pay or prodding (rscon and others)
m) most convention wisdom about homework is incorrect
n) passionate people and teachers make a difference
o) social media can be used in the classroom
p) learn from my students
q) project-based learning
r) student guided assessment
s) real reform is necessary
t) teachers not government officials should be in charge of ed reform
u) more tests does not lead to better accountability and education
v) some amazing people are educating our youth
w) collaboration is key
x) competition and schooling often don't mix
y) cell phones in the classroom should not be automatically outlawed
z) learning can be and ought to be fun


3 comments:

  1. What a terrific post! I have learned many of the same things using twitter. It's amazing how powerful 140 characters can be!

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  2. 140 characters open up worlds of information and learning!

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