Monday, July 29, 2013

Twitter - a source for professional learning and growth

Twitter is the "micro blogging" social networking site that Wikipedia defines as

Twitter is an online social networking service and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters, known as "tweets".
Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and by July, the social networking site was launched. The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity, with over 500 million registered users as of 2012, generating over 340 million tweets daily and handling over 1.6 billion search queries per day.[10][11][12] Since its launch, Twitter has become one of the ten most visited websites on the Internet, and has been described as "the SMS of the Internet."[13][14] Unregistered users can read tweets, while registered users can post tweets through the website interface, SMS, or a range of apps for mobile devices

Since November 2010 I have been "on Twitter". At first I did not use it much, I did not know what it was or why I should use it. I viewed it as "another fad, and another intrusion into my very busy days". My Twitter identity is @mikelubelfeld and in the district, we have @DPS109 as well as Twitter sites for the HR department and a number of the schools. Twitter is a fast reaching message center, it is a source that can send text messages (if you want it to), and it reaches large audiences if and when you know how to use it effectively.
For the past several years, I have used Twitter professionally to learn and "consume" a great deal of information from people and organizations I have chosen to "follow" on Twitter. For example, I have "met" educational leaders (superintendents, principals, technology directors, teachers, researchers, authors) during scheduled professional development conferences, or "chats". It's social media for grown ups in a way, it's instant, it's fast, it can be overwhelming at times, but the value and quality of the information and insights outweighs some of the negatives like too much information.
I'm proud of a DPS109 educational leader Jill Maraldo for co-founding and leading #ILEdchat, a weekly professional development conference on Twitter. I have participated in ILEdchat, IAedchat, Wischat, and other professional 'educonferences'. In 2013, we are 13 years into the 21st Century ... the future is "now". Online learning is not a unique fad, it's a pretty serious reality. It does not replace face-to-face experiences, but it really brings high level, high quality, and timely information instantly.
I'm sharing this post for many reasons among them ...:
1. I am proud to use and model use of a modern, online social media service for professional leadership, learning and growth;
2. I am proud that many DPS109 leaders have a Twitter presence, sharing with and learning from international educational leaders (trailblazers and pioneers);
3. Twitter is one of a number of professional growth tools I use to stay current and up-to-date with trends, research, practices, theories, successes, and overall engagement ideas for student and staff learning (I still read paper and online books, journals, periodicals, articles, etc.);
4. I value reflective learning and communication and through the blog I have a chance to share personal, professional, and personally professional thoughts and "posts" so the community can gain insights into thoughts and experiences of educational leaders; and
5. I am committed to supporting learning and growth, engagement, empowerment and inspiration of learners of all ages.
If you get a chance, find a source via Twitter about which you are passionate (education, leadership, the news, sports, etc.) and see what you think about this social media service.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. Twitter has become an invaluable source of learning for me as well. And like you, it took me awhile to figure out how to use it for professional development. I also must admit, that it is fun to follow hashtags that are simply entertaining. For example, I have had fun following #whitesox while watching the games. Interacting with other fans during a game, even fans of the opposing team, is fun. I am @dbsherman on Twitter. I will see you there!