Are you an educator? Do you use Twitter?

Next month, I will be running a little online workshop for educators who are interested in exploring/using Twitter.  I would love to collect a few stories from my PLN, if you’re willing to share your experiences!

  • When did you “get connected” on Twitter?
  • Why do you still use Twitter?
  • Did anything confuse you about using Twitter?
  • Do you know how to use a hashtag?  Why are they useful to you?
  • Who are your favourite people to follow?
  • Were there any moments when Twitter enabled you to make connections that weren’t possible before?
  • Have you used Twitter for any sort of professional learning?

 

Please share your suggestions and thoughts in the comment section below. …and make sure to include your Twitter username!

 

Tribe

**A special thank you to Sylvia Duckworth (@sylviaduckworth), who created this marvellous sketchnote!  See more of Sylvia’s work on her Flickr profile.

 

 

 

 

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73 Responses to Are you an educator? Do you use Twitter?

  1. banana29 says:

    @banana29 and I was first introduced to Twitter at an ECOO conference in 2009 by Brenda Sherry and Mary-Kay Goindi who enticed me to try it in a scavenger hunt. My competitive nature took over and I soon had a clear understanding of how to use hashtags to narrow the scope on one particular event or topic. I use hashtags a lot when I want to show something to a particular tribe of people. I especially get Twitter-crazy (I’ve even been called a Twitterati!) during PD conferences. Twitter helps me stay current in my professional and personal interests. Hashtags help me find like-minded people who take my learning to the next level. Often Twitter posts lead me to deeper reading and learning in other online places. I’m fickle about my favourite people on Twitter because this changes according to my need….which brings me to my favourite part about Twitter! I don’t need to be anyone’s friend, per se, because we’re all just sharing sharing sharing our resources.

    • colleenkr says:

      Alanna, thank you so much for your comment. I’m so curious to find out more about this scavenger hunt — was it an activity meant to help you explore several edtech tools, or was it just about Twitter itself? (I love that you’re totally ok admitting how competitive you are — I’m right there with you!) You also mentioned using hashtags — which one is your favourite (or is there just one)?

      I hadn’t considered your last point, but I think it’s fabulous! I think it’s interesting though, that I seem to have acquired many friends through Twitter that I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet any other way… but you’re right, there isn’t any ‘pressure’ to constantly chat.

      • banana29 says:

        The scavenger hunt had 2 purposes: to get us to explore all corners of the conference and to get us to explore the use of Twitter. As far as hashtags go I particularly like #OntTL used by Ontario teacher-librarians; #tlchat which is used by teacher-librarians across North America; #BIT16Reads which is the online book club I use with the BIT16 conference; #OLASC16 which is the Ontario Superconference; and any other PD I attend upwards of 10 events per year. I’m a complete Twitter snob now…if anyone isn’t using it, they probably aren’t tribe-worthy either!

  2. colleenkr says:

    Isn’t it interesting to think of our professional lives pre- and post- Twitter? What a powerful tool… and I’m so glad that teachers are still interested in taking that leap-into-learning through social media. Thanks for sharing a great collection of hashtags — some I haven’t heard of before & will definitely check out.

  3. adunsiger says:

    I would echo many of Alanna’s thoughts. I actually joined Twitter thanks to @zbpipe when I started teaching Grade 1 about 6 1/2 years ago. I thought it would be a great way to connect with parents. It’s been so much more than that. I’ve made some incredible connections online, and while I do use Twitter for parent engagement, I also use it for professional learning and discourse. I love what I learn from my PLN. I would totally recommend @dougpete’s Ontario Educators lists. Lots of great people to follow from there.

    Good luck with your presentation!
    Aviva

    • colleenkr says:

      What a great idea to share — Doug Peterson is such a wonderful resource on Twitter! His lists (& weekly #followfriday suggestions) are very handy.
      I’m so glad that Zoe introduced you to Twitter, especially because it has given you so much more than what you had first anticipated. What a great gift!

      • Muriel corbierre says:

        Hi Collen,

        Zoe also introduced me to Twitter (@DrCorbierre) when she was my course instructor for an ABQ last summer, and I am so thankful she did! I also agree that Doug Peterson is a great resource for Ontarian educators on Twitter, he has definitely helped build my PLN! I do not use Twitter daily anymore due to a lack of time, but I certainly check it once/twice a week. Great connections and great ideas are shared on Twitter; it is certainly an excellent professional learning tool!
        I do not use hashtags often, maybe I should?
        Thank you for your post!

  4. HI Colleen,

    1. Q: When did you “get connected” on Twitter? A: I think I joined in 2009 but didn’t really start using it in earnest until 2011.
    2. Q: Why do you still use Twitter? A: I love sharing resources and getting more ideas from other amazing educators. I also love the connections I make!
    3. Q: Did anything confuse you about using Twitter? A:Hashtags.
    4. Q: Do you know how to use a hashtag? A: Yes. 5. Q: Why are they useful to you? A: Great to follow different interests! Have hashtag columns set up on Tweetdeck.
    5. Q: Who are your favourite people to follow? A: For sure @colleenKR @dougpete and @avivaloca! @georgecouros and @royanlee are must-follows as well. Oh my gosh, so many, can’t list all here!
    6. Q: Were there any moments when Twitter enabled you to make connections that weren’t possible before? A: Every day!
    7. Q: Have you used Twitter for any sort of professional learning? A: Every day! Plus try to participate in Twitterchats every now and then.

    • colleenkr says:

      Sylvia, thank you so much for your comment! I think that new Twitter users will be thankful to learn that you waited a while until you used the platform fully — what was it that moved you forward?
      Totally get the confusion with hashtags. Especially after watching this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57dzaMaouXA (LOL!)

      Love your suggestions for people to follow! I’ll give a shout-out to @dougpete, @avivaloca, @georgecouros, @royanlee & @banana29! (they rock) 🙂

      It’s true that Twitter can provide professional learning every day — surprising, actually. Especially when compared with formal PD … 😉

  5. Oh, @banana29 is a must-follow as well!

  6. mslwheeler says:

    Here’s a blog post I wrote explaining my experience with Twitter:
    https://mslwheeler.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/why-i-use-twitter/

  7. karen grose says:

    Hi Colleen……..I started using Twitter about a year ago (@kgrose2). At first I was a little hesitant–how does this all work? how do i know who to follow? how could I possibly contribute? But with a few patient and expert “Twitter coaches” by my side to guide my initial learning (you, maureen Asselin, Britney), I decided it was time to stop worrying and just jump in and do it.

    For the first couple of months, I really just observed. I began by following some Ontario educators I knew, some I met at conferences, as well as those who were recommended (Doug Peterson’s list of Ontario twitter folks was very helpful–yeah Doug!). These early days of observation gave a better sense of the pace, culture and all there is offered by being part of the Twitter community.

    Today I can say that although I still prefer face to face learning in some circumstances, Twitter has totally opened up my world to 24/7 personalized professional learning. I am in awe of the amazing depth of talent we have among Ontario’s educators–their willingness to share their craft and their learning with others so that we can all learn together for the broader benefit of the students we serve is remarkable. I am deeply grateful for my PLN on Twitter–they push my thinking, give me pause to reflect and strive for deeper learning, and take me to new places by sharing their thoughts, articles, research, classroom and school practices–complete with pictures, videos and images that really bring their learning, innovation and stories alive.

    I also like following and learning from educators around the world–it is really interesting to hear their perspectives and learn from the ways they are trying to transform learning within the contexts of their classrooms, schools and countries.

    I still have lots to learn to better capitalize on the benefits of Twitter but at this point i love it as it helps to keep me connected, current and learning. Best wishes with your upcoming presentation!

    • colleenkr says:

      Karen, I love your reference to the “early days of observation”, because it’s so important to honour the process of figuring things out. We watch, we learn, we do. Your comment, re: face-to-face learning compared to a world of personalized, professional learning is spot-on. Ideally, we would transport ourselves to our ideal learning spaces (and a few vacation spots) 😉 …but until then, Twitter allows us to virtually connect with others who share our interests & goals.

      So glad you mentioned Doug — he sure has helped many of us to get connected!! (and he is so supportive!)

      Thanks for your comment!

  8. Donna says:

    Saw your tweet asking for feedback re Twitter. I use Twitter a lot for networking and professional development. There are lots of articles and blogs being shared and yes I have met people I wouldn’t have otherwise. But I have connected with others regarding other personal interests too. This summer one of those connections will be visiting my class to talk about plants and nature. I am still figuring out hashtags. Not very good at using those and am still figuring out Twitter chats. Good luck with your endeavours.

    • colleenkr says:

      Donna, it’s so nice to hear from you! I’m interested to hear more about the connection you made, and how it will impact your class. I’ll bet it’s going to be a wonderful experience! (Will you be tweeting/blogging/’Instagramming’ about it?)
      Hashtags are definitely a challenge for many people — I think it’s because they’re not limited to using them in just one way. It’s as if there is a hashtag sub-culture or language that is a bit tricky to get used to.
      Thank you so much for sharing!

  9. Hi Colleen!
    You asked, and some of my favourite Twitter pals already answered, so here I go:

    When did you “get connected” on Twitter? = 2009 (hooked up my school in 2011, methinks)

    Why do you still use Twitter? = professional learning, even keeping abreast of current events (especially those not traditionally covered in mainstream media), way to stay connected, opportunity to question my thinking on things (see http://mondaymollymusings.blogspot.ca/2014/01/ice-storm-fury-and-tweaking-twitter.html)

    Did anything confuse you about using Twitter? = I was “Twitter-tutoring” my OA and she was puzzled about the difference between @tdsb and #tdsb, for example. She didn’t understand why certain tweets got shared more than others (so I shared tips). I wrote about my own Twitter journey and the article can be found here:

    “Twitter As a Professional Learning Network for Teachers” Antistasis: A New Brunswick Education Journal. Volume 1, Issue 2. Spring 2011.
    I also made a blog post about my original Twitter plans and why they changed – see http://mondaymollymusings.blogspot.ca/2010/08/january-4-2010-could-twitter-create.html

    Do you know how to use a hashtag? Why are they useful to you? = Yes, I do. Archiving is so useful with hashtags. For summer school, I embed our daily class tweets into the wiki and blog using the hashtag #lmmss3 (Lucy Maud Montgomery Summer School Grade 3) and then other awesome teachers created the #lmmss hashtag so we could all share the successes and news. It’s also handy for chats, so you don’t miss the gushing of information.

    Who are your favourite people to follow? = I will be upset with myself if I miss mentioning people, so I’m going to avoid the question for now. Doug Peterson is a blessing to the Ontario blogosphere and Twitterverse because every Friday he groups names together with his Follow Fridays (#FF) and they are often marvelous people to follow. Don’t always go with the “famous names”. Some of my favourite folks have a small following but share some incredible things. (I’ll avoid mentioning names here right now too because I don’t want to insult anyone as “not famous but worthwhile”).

    Were there any moments when Twitter enabled you to make connections that weren’t possible before? = Heck ya! Beyond school boards, beyond borders, you name it! I liked when my students did a Twitter chat with a teacher who had installed solar panels on his roof. They skipped recess just to keep talking! (That story and photo can be found on http://mondaymollymusings.blogspot.ca/2013/07/everyone-can-be-teacher-at-summer-school.html)

    Have you used Twitter for any sort of professional learning? = Yes, I like to join some weekly chats. I also like the more informal setting of seeing an article or blog post linked and then reading it myself. A Twitter chat led to a tool exploration challenge between 3 of us (all educators, from different places) as well as a different chat which led to some blog posts ( like on kindergarten prep delivery).

    • colleenkr says:

      Diana, what a great response that will be so useful to new Twitter users!! I’m especially grateful for mentioning your friend and the mix-up between “@tdsb and #tdsb”. I think this is one of those things that, once you learn it, you forget how difficult it was to figure out. Thanks both of you, because I will make sure to present this difference in my session!

      I really hope that people read your blog post about the ice storm. There are so many lessons to be learned here: the effectiveness of communicating (I’m grateful for your pictures, so that people can visualize what a conversation looks like), as well as digital citizenship & “netiquette”.

      “Heck ya!” is awesome! This is how I feel when I can make awesome connections with others online — especially if they have a direct, positive impact on my learning & outlook, my pedagogy, my students, and more!

      Thanks so much for your input, Diana!

  10. teachafl says:

    From @RosePillay1

    When did you “get connected” on Twitter? About 4 years ago – out of necessity to keep current & relevant – to access the best of what is out there – to learn without the airmiles & mileage

    Why do you still use Twitter? 24/7 Learning – Growing- Exponential Networking
    Cross-district & Global connections – amplifies f2f pro-D

    Did anything confuse you about using Twitter?
    Initially hashtags

    Do you know how to use a hashtag? Yes
    Why are they useful to you? Finding conversations – pooling, crowd-sourcing, & archiving learning during pro-d (storify)

    Who are your favourite people to follow?
    @shareski
    @yongzhaoed
    @rickwormeli2
    @krissyvenosdale
    @dylanwiliam

    Were there any moments when Twitter enabled you to make connections that weren’t possible before?

    YES! Absolutely Yes!
    Both professional and personal.

    This response will need a separate blog post (from the time @dylanwiliam responded to a tweet to @yongzhaoed following me to bringing @stevebollar to Catholic Educators’ Conference to praying for @joebower…)

    Have you used Twitter for any sort of professional learning?

    All the Time from hashtags to f2f Ignites & EdCamps – again check out all the storifies here https://storify.com/RosePillay1

    • colleenkr says:

      Rose, thank you for your thoughtful response. I’ll admit that one of your reasons for using Twitter resonated with me: “…to learn without the airmiles & mileage.” I live at the Northern tip of Lake Superior, and don’t often have the chance to meet others face-to-face. Twitter has a way of levelling the playing field, providing access to learning that hadn’t been available before.
      I’m interested in hearing about your experience with @dylanwiliam, @yongzhaoed and @stevebollar… I know that @jowbower affected so many people — both personally and professionally, so it must be an important memory for you.
      I’m grateful that you shared the link to your storifies — they help me to live through your experiences! Thanks again Rose!

  11. lisamnoble says:

    Sorry I’m late to the party!
    When did you “get connected” on Twitter? Cathy Beach (@beachcat11) asked me to join as part of a TLLP in 2011. I am forever grateful
    Why do you still use Twitter? for the collective learning, for answers to questions, to push my own learning, to make me laugh, to have a sense of “what’s going on ” in the world, to connect with remarkable people.
    Did anything confuse you about using Twitter? I had to really focus at the beginning to learn the conventions of the system. If you don’t use a hashtag, or direct a tweet in a particular direction, it may just vanish into the ether, and for me that’s not an effective use of the communication power of Twitter. I now work hard to make sure I’m directing something I’m sharing to a group (or person) I think will appreciate it.
    Do you know how to use a hashtag? Why are they useful to you? Hashtags help with the above – it gets your tweet to people who might need it; I really learned about how to use them in the context of Twitter chats, which are one of favourite things to do on Twitter.
    Who are your favourite people to follow? @avivaloca for the amazing stuff she does everyday in her classroom; @acampbell99, @willrich45 for making me think deeper all the time, @mraspinall for making my brain explode on a regular basis; @shiftparadigm for positive thought; @dougpete for the incredible work he does to bring Ontario (and the world’s) educators together; the amazing #fslchat, #innovatorsmindset and #etmooc communities. There are LOTS more (and they’re not all edu-based)
    Were there any moments when Twitter enabled you to make connections that weren’t possible before? all the time (like, really, all the time!) http://plpnetwork.com/2013/01/29/twitter-bad-week/
    https://nobleknits2.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/bands-across-the-water-bands-across-the-world/

    Have you used Twitter for any sort of professional learning?
    Currently part of the team that’s putting together the Innovator’s Mindset book club; part of Alec Couros’ #etmooc, the previously mentioned #fslchat; I use Twitter a lot for professional learning. It’s one of my main sources of self-driven PD.

    • colleenkr says:

      Wow, Lisa! It sounds like you’ve really been able to benefit from your experiences on Twitter! I think that new users will really appreciate your advice: “If you don’t use a hashtag, or direct a tweet in a particular direction, it may just vanish into the ether, and for me that’s not an effective use of the communication power of Twitter.” It’s so true. Most people follow a number of others, and if they’re not alerted to a certain tweet/comment, they’ll probably miss it.
      I’m also guessing that your suggested hashtags will help others to explore “new lands” in the world of Twitter — it’s such a great way to narrow our focus when the platform can feel overwhelming. Thanks so much for your comment, Lisa!

  12. Royan Lee says:

    * When did you “get connected” on Twitter? I got connected in 2009 after Danika Tipping (formerly Barker) showed it to me.
    * Why do you still use Twitter? Because there are so many people I love there, and because it helps me accomplish my goals.
    * Did anything confuse you about using Twitter? At first, the notion of publicly sharing ideas was freaky. Since then, I’m one of the weird ones who have always found Twitter very easy to understand.
    * Do you know how to use a hashtag?  Why are they useful to you? Hashtags are useful to me when I’m following a chatted when I want to be clever;)
    * Who are your favourite people to follow? Oh man, that’s hard to to say because there are so many. I like following people whose personality shines through Twitter. I can’t stand following people who tweet ONLY about education.
    * Were there any moments when Twitter enabled you to make connections that weren’t possible before? Dozens and dozens of times. Also, my connections on Twitter are even helping my family make connections.
    * Have you used Twitter for any sort of professional learning? Every day. Learning is about relationships, and this space is full of important learning relationships for me.

    • colleenkr says:

      Royan, I love your comments! One of my favourites that may be surprising to new users:
      “I like following people whose personality shines through Twitter. I can’t stand following people who tweet ONLY about education.” <– I think this is *so* special, because it helps us develop a connection to the people we follow. A bit like an expanded staff room (but way cooler, of course).
      I'm very curious to find out more about how Twitter is helping your family to make connections. Would you care to elaborate? This sounds like an interesting story!
      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences here!

  13. Julie Dwyer says:

    Colleen! I have been using Twitter for great PD experiences, for learning about new educational practices, and to connect with inspirational people for the past three years. I have used Twitter to bring Pernille Ripp’s Great Read Aloud to my school, I have shared Teach Like a Pirate, and Genius Hour with many teachers. My latest connection is with Angela Watson and her 40 Hour Workweek which led me to a wonderful group of grade level teachers. I tend to lurk more than participate as I am generally on my iPad not my laptop and I find the pace of a Q&A needs the speed of a true keyboard. I am intrigued by the breadth and creativity of the content and people who are making our world a better place.

    • colleenkr says:

      Julie, those are fabulous resources! I’ve heard of Pernille’s Great Read Aloud, Teach Like a Pirate & Genius Hour, but I haven’t heard of the 40 Hour Workweek, so I know I’ll be searching for it! I totally understand what you’re saying about using a device compared with a keyboard — if I’m participating in any kind of chat, I open up my laptop too. It also helps to follow hashtags more easily (I use Tweetdeck).
      Thanks so much for your comment!

  14. Ingrid Smith says:

    My teaching partners and I started using Twitter to let parents and other educators peek into our classroom every day. We found it easy to use and not confusing – the only real challenge was limiting yourself to the number of characters allowed. That was interesting though and learning to be more succinct was a froth opportunity for us as teachers.
    This year three of us share our account (@newsfromthepod) and we have just started using hashtags. They help us search for a find specific tweets, useful when students want to recall a moment or we want to revisit some of our previous work. Hashtags also allow us to participate in Twitter forums, fast-paced discussions with colleagues.
    I love following other educators, especially early years people who run play-based/inquiry-based programs. A picture speaks a thousand words and the short written pieces provoke thinking. I also love following educational leaders who are provocateurs, asking big questions. My absolute favourite people to follow are: @michellecr8tive, @room114gradeones, @DebbieDonsky, @royanlee and @AnamariaRalph.
    Twitter connects us to people we might never have met, people grappling with and celebrating the same things we are. We get ideas, inspire others and watch people’s journeys. It’s very encouraging.
    When I spend some time scrolling through posts from the past nearly two years I see our growth. I see where we took risks and I see what our students celebrated (“tweet this!” Is a common refrain). I see directions we took that didn’t work and whether we were flexible or stubborn.
    Frankly, I love having Twitter in my communication toolkit.

    @NewsFromThePod

    • colleenkr says:

      Ingrid, you might have just given people a new opportunity for starting a Twitter account: *share* an account! What a great idea for those who benefit from collaborative projects. I’ve experienced something similar with three other teachers in my building, since we share a Facebook account for our school, where we each provide a variety of updates & images for our school & communities.
      I’m so glad you mentioned the people who “…we might never have met, people grappling with and celebrating the same things we are. We get ideas, inspire others and watch people’s journeys. It’s very encouraging.” <–this is one of those things that is hard to describe to people who haven't experienced it firsthand. I sincerely hope that new users see your comment & eventually get to benefit from the same situations!
      Thank you so much for contributing your ideas & experiences!

  15. htheijsmeijer says:

    Hi Colleen!
    When did you “get connected” on Twitter?
    >>I was on Twitter for a few years in a different capacity, but started using it as a teacher in 2013 (-ish)(I think).

    Why do you still use Twitter?
    >>Twitter is fast and vast – I can take only a few moments to check it (or longer, if I have the time), and it brings me resources/opinions/ideas from teachers all over the world. It’s a great source of inspiration.

    Did anything confuse you about using Twitter?
    >>I don’t think so. It can seem a bit overwhelming – perhaps the best piece of advice I received when first starting to use Twitter as a teacher was that you DON’T have to look at EVERY tweet. The best stuff will get cycled through many tweets, and you’re bound to see it at some point. I also did a lot of observing to see how others were using Twitter, hashtags, Twitter chats, etc., before jumping in and being an active tweeter myself.

    Do you know how to use a hashtag? Why are they useful to you?
    >> I do – I use them to promote some of my own work to groups I think might be interested (#onted, #BYOD), I use them to search for ideas along a certain theme/topic (#GoogleEDU, #mathchat), I use them to reach out and stay in touch with people in my board (#rdsb21c), and to participate in chats (#BYOTchat, STAOchat).

    Who are your favourite people to follow?
    >>I love connecting with fellow Ontario educators. There is so much amazing stuff going on right here “at home,” and it’s great being able to connect with these teachers. I’m trying to help more Ontario teachers connect with each other through #OntarioClassMatch.

    Were there any moments when Twitter enabled you to make connections that weren’t possible before?
    >>Yes! I’ve been able to connect randomly with teachers who have similar interests in order to pair up and do joint class activities together. Without Twitter, I’m not sure where I would even look to make connections like that.

    Have you used Twitter for any sort of professional learning?
    >>Constantly! From informal learning (reading educational articles or blog posts) to formal learning opportunities (#OSSEMOOC, #OOE13 mooc), I’ll take a look at any learning opportunity that catches my eye. Thanks to Twitter, they’re pretty easy to find.

    • colleenkr says:

      Heather, I will make sure to reiterate your suggestion to new Twitter users: ** “you DON’T have to look at EVERY tweet!” ** You’re so right. I think this may be one piece of advice that will minimize that overwhelming feeling that holds some people back when they begin.

      #OntarioClassMatch is a really exciting project, and I want to make sure to mention it during our session next month — I know that, as word gets out, more and more people will benefit from this experience!

      I’m glad that you mentioned formal *and* informal learning opportunities, since there are so many possibilities offered through Twitter — and by searching the hashtags, i.e., #OSSEMOOC, new users might just find a comfortable environment where they can begin their journey. 🙂

      Thanks Heather!!

  16. lisamnoble says:

    Heather’s comment about not reading every tweet made me think of some wisdom I heard a couple of years ago from Kim Gill (@gillville), who said that if she’s meant to see something, it’ll find its way to her. If there’s something out there that’s really good, it’ll get enough amplification that you’ll see it.

    • colleenkr says:

      Very sound advice, Lisa (and Kim & Heather) 🙂

    • banana29 says:

      That’s an excellent point, Lisa (and Kim). I like to think of Twitter as a stream….and you just dive in when you have time or when something attracts you. If you’re following interesting people and hashtags, then things will leap out at you! It’s a spontaneous sort of reading.

  17. thecleversheep says:

    It’s been a while since I’ve considered this topic, but I did a Pecha Kucha presentation that may lead you to a few related projects. https://www.slideshare.net/mobile/thecleversheep/20-things-i-learned-in-twitter

    *#31daygame and #unplugd also grew out of Twitter relationships.
    ** Ditto for the first synchronous education chat on Twitter: #educhat

    • colleenkr says:

      Rodd, thanks so much — what a fantastic presentation! I’ve never experienced a Pecha Kucha, but heard of it earlier this year & it sounds intriguing. What was it like to deliver such a presentation?

      *I will be sharing your presentation in a group on TeachOntario, which will help new users (and maybe some experienced users) to get a better sense of the platform. I know they’ll benefit from your work! Thanks so much.

      • thecleversheep says:

        What was it like?
        Fun if I remember…
        Rehearsal is key!

        Found the presentation from 2010.

    • banana29 says:

      I absolutely loved the 31 day game and it was one of my first favourite things to do on Twitter.

  18. When did you “get connected” on Twitter?
    ​January 2014 in preparation for the Winter Olympics for my class to be kept uptodate.
    ​Why do you still use Twitter?
    ​Professional Learning and to BORROW…STEAL other educator’s ideas.
    ​Did anything confuse you about using Twitter?
    ​SHORTFORMS and hashtags.
    Do you know how to use a hashtag?
    ​YES…..I think so:) twitter
    ​Why are they useful to you?
    ​So helpful to follow certain professional development sessions at conferences canconnected2016 bit2015 teachontario
    ​Who are your favourite people to follow?
    ​George Couros
    ​@gcouros
    colleen.rose
    ​@ColleenKR
    karen.grose
    ​@kgrose2
    kpapulkas
    ​@KatPapulkas
    raine
    ​@RaineCB
    oliviaskibinski
    ​@oliviammolina
    rdoreando
    ​@rdoreando
    pcameron
    ​@cherandpete
    louise.robitaille
    ​@Robitaille2011
    ​#ontsshg
    htheijsmeijer
    ​@HTheijsmeijer
    ​@tvo
    ​Were there any moments when Twitter enabled you to make connections that weren’t possible before?
    ​http://www.anadventure.org
    ​​https://hourofcode.com/ca
    ​Have you used Twitter for any sort of professional learning?
    ​ALWAYS and @TVO says it best neverstoplearning

    • colleenkr says:

      Maureen, your comment, re: stealing, made me laugh out loud. It also made me think of Austin Kleon’s work: http://austinkleon.com/steal/ Steal like an artist… or crazy-good educator! Another great point to mention is the confusion, re: short forms. Sometimes they’re not even google-able! (sigh)
      I really appreciate that you mentioned the helpfulness of hashtags at conferences — it’s such a good way to “keep notes” — by looking through what others have tweeted, we can retweet their work, like their post, and we can write our own.

      Thanks so much for your comment, Maureen — and you’re right, @TVO does say it best. 🙂

  19. dougpete says:

    This is an interesting concept, Colleen. You’re going into your webinar with a wide variety of insights from some of my favourite people above. Maybe we should start a movement to crash your party? I truly hope that there are folks that will take advantage of your generous donation of time. Here are my thoughts…

    When did you “get connected” on Twitter?
    According to my timeline, it was in August 2007. I’d like to give a reason “why” but I honestly don’t know. I don’t recall any conferences or experiences that would have inspired me to do so. The only thing I could hazard a guess on would be that I read about it somewhere and decided to take a look. I’m so glad that I did as it really gives back far more than I could ever have imagined.

    Why do you still use Twitter?
    I don’t think that learning can be done in isolation. We’ve always tended to gravitate to conferences or meetings for learnings. It was a chance to get a periodic shot in the arm to stay motivated. Twitter allows you to get that shot in the arm at any time. It gives you answers and opinions on demand. It really is the wisdom of the masses at your fingertips. It’s also something you can turn off when overloaded.

    But education isn’t the only thing I enjoy. As you know, I would be a photographer if only I had the eye or the technique. I’d be a great BBQer if I had the recipes. I’d be a trivia master if I knew the obscure answers. I’d be a writer if only I could.

    Did anything confuse you about using Twitter?
    In the beginning, I used to lay awake at night wondering why 140 characters. Why not 150? Why not 100? Once I gave up looking for the answer, I could sleep again. Everything else is just stuff to learn.

    Do you know how to use a hashtag? Why are they useful to you?
    Yes. It allows me to follow conversation streams of the moment. I use Hootsuite and have standing searches for hashtags like #BIT16, #CSTA16, #Ubuntu, #Amherstburg, …

    Who are your favourite people to follow?
    Well, there’s @ColleenKR. She’s a definite follow. In the beginning, I had my favourites that I wanted to follow so that I learn from their wisdom. I used to spend so much time looking for them rather than getting the benefits. Now, I follow more people than it says in Twitter. I’ve stopped the formal Twitter following of Ontario Educators, for example, and add new interactions with them to a Twitter list. I have columns open for these lists as well as others like “Over There”, “People I know”, … At any point in time, I just look at those columns to see what’s going on. If there’s something that really catches my interest, I used Hootsuite’s feature to “Show Conversation” and get caught up.

    Were there any moments when Twitter enabled you to make connections that weren’t possible before?
    All the time. Like they say, “An expert is someone from out of town”. For the most part, I follow experts from all over the place. I totally enjoy discussions about Red Rock bridges, Thunder Bay Persians, life on Manitoulin Island, taking part in conferences world-wide that I can’t attend, seeing pictures of trees in town knocked down by storms, new initiatives in schools districts, and the learning/sharing that happens all the time.

    Have you used Twitter for any sort of professional learning?
    Most definitely. With Twitter, I’ve learned about so many things that I wouldn’t have otherwise. What really puts it over the top happens when someone shares a link to a blog post, or a news article, or a video, first thoughts, and so much. It’s also important to put on your BS detector and remember that this in Ontario and Twitter is world-wide. I remember distinctly an Ontario Educator telling us that “No Child Left Behind” was going to be policy with his district and reasons why it was bad.

    With the proper connections, it’s possible to get glimpses into the future and what might be. You can’t get that everywhere. I value that so much.

    • colleenkr says:

      Doug, I was hoping you’d drop by! Glad to hear your thoughts — and I’m totally ok with you crashing the party! Any party is better with you there. You might have noticed (I hope so, anyway) that many people have so much respect and admiration for you — and that respect is well-deserved, my friend. You are a constant support for us all.

      I think I may quote you when I provide participants with thoughts from others who joined Twitter: “I’m so glad that I did as it really gives back far more than I could ever have imagined.” I chuckled when you compared Twitter to getting a shot in the arm… all I could picture is getting a needle, but I faintly remembered the saying, so I looked it up (embarrassing to admit). Your comments, re: learning in isolation vs. benefitting from the minds of many is spot-on. It sure does help to have others who are willing and able to help us out.

      You happened to mention photography. I wish we lived closer so we could try a few things together! …and then get Peter Beens to be our personal coach. A few of my students are interested in learning a bit more, so I’m doing my best to wrap my head around aperture, but it’s taking so much patience (with myself) as we try to tackle new knowledge. I was very grateful when Peter beamed into our classroom via Skype & gave us some help! (…and you’re a writer already, Mister.)

      Hootsuite — I’m curious about it. I use Tweetdeck & appreciate its features, but have never used Hootsuite. It must be awfully handy to be able to get caught up on a conversation…

      You might get in trouble if you mention a certain bridge & reference Red Rock. Technically, it’s in Nipigon. One of those rival-kind-of-things… two small towns, always competing. It’s hilarious, really. You’d think we had bigger britches or something.

  20. When did you “get connected” on Twitter?
    In 2010, our district had 2 PD days that were set up similar to edCamps. Our tech coach had a session on building your own PLN. I had no idea what a PLN is was but after hearing his enthusiasm made me want to build one. We set up our twitter accounts that day and fortunately, it was right before our Thanksgiving break. I had time to just read Twitter and see all that it had to offer as an educator.

    Why do you still use Twitter?
    I still use Twitter because it is the best PD EVER! I learn something almost every day. It has inspired me to try so many new things in my classroom. I have made great friends that don’t mind sharing and ask when they see something I am doing that might be good for them. It helps me on those days that I feel very isolated for trying new ideas- there’s always someone that will try it with me on Twitter.

    Did anything confuse you about using Twitter?
    I was having trouble finding people until I started using the lists feature. This has helped a lot. I still wish there was a way to organize and keep “likes.” to reference later.

    Do you know how to use a hashtag? Why are they useful to you?
    Hashtags are very useful to find certain projects or groups of people.

    Who are your favourite people to follow?
    TOO many to list but I will try! @ktenkely, @michellek107, @rchids , @TLKaegi , @yourkidsteacher,@MrsMorgansClass, @BevLadd so many more…

    Were there any moments when Twitter enabled you to make connections that weren’t possible before? YES! I wanted to try project based learning. Twitter allowed me to meet other primary teacher that use pbl and it also helped me find ones that would walk me through it the first time and join in! My class also uses twitter to connect to classes globally through all different projects. This would not have been possible without Twitter.

    Have you used Twitter for any sort of professional learning? Project Based Learning was a huge part of my learning. The thing about Twitter is that it helps me see new areas of growth and where I might want to go next in my professional learning. It is learner (me) driven not district/state mandates.

    • colleenkr says:

      Carol, so nice to hear from you! I’d say that getting connected on Twitter was a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving — could you ever imagine that you’d still be using it today & able to benefit in so many ways? Your thoughts, re: escaping isolation, are beautiful. I think many of us have found wonderful connections with amazing people who always seem to be there for us. Consider this blog post & the amazing people (including you) who have taken extra time to write such thoughtful comments.

      Did you know that, if you use Tweetdeck, you can create a column for your likes? It’s true! You should try it — if you do, it may help you out!

      Thank you so much for sharing, Carol!

  21. Vicky Loras says:

    Hi Colleen!

    I wrote a post about connecting with educators on Twitter and how it came about https://vickyloras.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/using-twitter-pd-in-focus-6/

    Have a lovely week!
    Vicky

    • colleenkr says:

      Vicky, your post is awesome, thanks so much for sharing! I started listening to the YouTube video you embedded into your post & got a bit sidetracked from my preparations from work tomorrow! Must have been the accent… 🙂

      I think the most important thing for new users to learn is the power of connecting with others. Your story is a beautiful illustration of how technology can impact our lives in such a positive way. Once we harness that power, we have the chance to provide more opportunities for our students.

  22. Peter Beens says:

    When did you “get connected” on Twitter?
    I think I was a little late to the party, and didn’t join until April 2009. I don’t remember my inspiration for joining, but I’ll bet it had something to do with @dougpete or as a communications medium while I was at the Ministry of Ed.

    Why do you still use Twitter?
    A few reasons, I suppose. First, because it’s a great way to communicate. It requires that you be succinct in your messages which suits my often hectic lifestyle. Second, because it’s the best PD mechanism for teachers that’s out there. It’s completely self-directed and there is a surprisingly huge amount of support available.

    Did anything confuse you about using Twitter?
    Yes, in the early days there’s wasn’t much PD on it, and sending direct messages was more complicated than today. But now it’s very easy to use, given the tools have gotten much better.

    Do you know how to use a hashtag? Why are they useful to you?
    Yes, I know how to use hashtags. I use them routinely for conferences and for my classes (each class has its own hashtag) or even for general tweets to make them searchable within my own content (like bookmarks).

    Who are your favourite people to follow?
    @dougpete is awesome. His interests are similar to my own and he is a constant source of excellent information. Every teacher that has an interest in ICT in education should follow Doug.

    Were there any moments when Twitter enabled you to make connections that weren’t possible before?
    I can’t say that I made any connections that “weren’t possible” before, but I’m sure I’ve made more connections that have expanded my network of friends and colleagues because of it.

    Have you used Twitter for any sort of professional learning?
    Absolutely! That’s what I likely use it most for, either for my own PD or to help others.

    • colleenkr says:

      Peter, I’m so glad to hear from you! …but if you were late to the party in 2009, did I miss the party in 2012? 😉
      You mentioned the value of being succinct, which is something that new users will definitely appreciate since we have busy schedules! Fortunately, we get to decide if we simply read a post, “like” it, reply to it, retweet it, …and it’s all up to us.
      Using a hashtag as a bookmark function is an excellent idea. I will be sure to pass this along to my session participants!

      Thanks so much for your comment, Peter — …and for mentioning Doug. I agree, any participant would be wise to follow him.

  23. missjaybar says:

    When did you “get connected” on Twitter?
    I have been on Twitter for a little over 2 years. I joined to see what the big deal about twitter was since my students use it and I like to know what they are doing. I then became interested in twitter chats.
    Why do you still use Twitter?
    I still use twitter to share information about my teaching and to advocate for my art program. Also, it helps when I want to vote for things on The Voice. 😉
    Did anything confuse you about using Twitter?
    Not really.
    Do you know how to use a hashtag? Why are they useful to you?
    Yes I do. At first I thought hashtags were super dumb. But, now I see the usefulness of them to help organize things: ideas, people, topics, etc.
    Who are your favourite people to follow?
    I follow a lot of art teachers and like minded people. At first I followed a lot of celebrities and news outlets. Now not so much on the latter.
    Were there any moments when Twitter enabled you to make connections that weren’t possible before?
    I think twitter has been allowed me to share information about my classes and teaching in a way that is different than when sharing on facebook. I also like the real time aspect of it when contributing to twitter chats. With the “invention” of tweetdeck, it has made following different people and topics on twitter so much easier. It helps keep it organized.
    Have you used Twitter for any sort of professional learning?
    I mostly use twitter for professional learning. As I mentioned earlier, I was introduced to twitter chats about 2 years ago. I participate in #k12artchat as much as I can. I run the #TABchat every other week (well, mostly) where we discuss different topics ranging from the pedagogy theory to how to run the class and how to organize supplies.

    My twitter handle is @missjaybar and I can answer anymore questions that you have. 🙂

    • colleenkr says:

      Jean, thanks so much for contributing to our collection of comments! …now I know something new about you: I didn’t notice that you voted for The Voice!

      I really appreciate your comment, re: real time chats. I love the immediacy of discussion, while still balanced with providing us our own “think time” — we decide to contribute, rather than the scary, nightmarish classroom experience of being put on the spot and not knowing what to say. This aspect of all technology really won me over.

      Ditto, re: Tweetdeck. So, so helpful.

      Thanks again Jean! It’s nice to see a fellow art teacher here! …I wonder if you might get the “long distance award” — I should have asked people to say where they were from in their comment!

  24. Hello Colleen!
    We actually meet via Twitter and by readings blogs! Woo hoo! Yeah Twitter for exposing me to an AMAZING teacher and friend! Hello from Iowa! @chelsiemeyer

    1. Q: When did you “get connected” on Twitter? A: October 2010. David Warlick introduced me to it at an Art Educators of Iowa Conference and it was mind-blowing!
    2. Q: Why do you still use Twitter? A: I love connecting with art teachers as we usually fly solo or in pairs in the buildings/districts we work in, but on Twitter we unite! This is an AMAZING resource!
    3. Q: Did anything confuse you about using Twitter? A: Twitter via twitter without Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. These platforms for Twitter made the whole tweeting experience much more organized!
    4. Q: Do you know how to use a hashtag? A: Yes.
    5. Q: Why are they useful to you? A: Great to follow different interests! Have hashtag columns set up on Hootsuite.
    5. Q: Who are your favorite people to follow? A: For sure @colleenKR 🙂 @MrsLalk @fugelfun @tomwhitby @campbellartsoup and SO many more!
    6. Q: Were there any moments when Twitter enabled you to make connections that weren’t possible before? A: YES! DOT DAY! When Peter Reynolds the author of the book we used as inspiration for our project actually commented on Colleen’s Blog post about our collaborative art project together! I share this one with students all the time to talk about digital culture! This would not have happened before! I have built up over the years a Professional Learning Network via Twitter!
    7. Q: Have you used Twitter for any sort of professional learning? A: YES! I love it in the summertime! Plus try to participate in Twitterchats #artsedchat #edchat is HUGE every now and then.

    • colleenkr says:

      Chelsie!! Yay, I’m so glad to hear from you! Hello Iowa! It’s nice to remember how we first met via technology — I sure do hope that we can meet face to face some day! Until then, we just need to plan another project together. 🙂

      I *love* your comment, re: art teachers who usually “fly solo” ~ it’s so true. When I was first introduced to Twitter, I was mesmerized by the fact that I could connect with others too! I had felt very isolated geographically, but Twitter helped me find new friends (like you) in a “new world” via #artsed.

      Dot Day was amazing, wasn’t it! My classes didn’t participate that much this past year, so maybe we should plan something for the upcoming year… we’ll need to put our thinking caps on.

      Thank you so much for your contribution to my little project, Chelsie — stories like these will help new Twitter users so much!

  25. Pingback: This Week in Ontario Edublogs | doug --- off the record

  26. HJ.DeWaard says:

    Hi Colleen. What a rich conversation here. Focused on a topic, learning from diverse voices and experiences, all gathered into one space. I’m going to share this with my students who are new teacher candidates as a model of how their own blogs can promote and encourage open discourse. This is also an excellent source of information about using Twitter. I’ll also send them the link to your online session since I know they are aware of TeachOntario and this could help them get engaged in this collaborative digital space. Let me just ‘tweet it’!

    I’ve been active on Twitter for just over a year. I lurked for many years trying to make meaning and code break this digital resource. It was a push from Dean Shareski that got me off the edge – an object stuck at inertia needs a push to get rolling. It takes a while to reach balance or equilibrium in Twitter, to understand, as Heather says, that you don’t need to read or see ever tweet. For the new teachers I work with, once they know it’s OK, they become comfortable in lurking, looking and learning from the model presented by others.

    I continue to use twitter to collaborate and communicate with a global network of educators with a vast array of skills and knowledge. Their tweets prompt me to think briefly or deeply about new ideas or ‘wonderings’. It connects me to communities and affinity spaces where I can engage with like minded learners.

    I was confused at first about hashtags but now use them strategically to get a message out further. They change my voice from a whisper to a yell with an echo. Hashtags help you reach further and farther. I also often take time to search hashtags to see what’s happening or recent. This is particularly helpful with global conferences or groups that have global reach e.g. Virtually Connecting. I now also use hashtags to add #humour or a #quirkycomment that is directed to particular people or groups. It’s still a challenge for me to effectively use the search functions to drill down and find tweets for specific purposes. One other element that I need to work on is the use of lists – it’s an easy way to curate groups and follow people in a group, but I’d like to be able to collaborate on lists to truly fulfil their potential to manage information.

    Favourite people to follow right now are my students who are using Twitter, some for the first time, others for the first time as a teaching professional. They are currently on placement and I’m following and sharing in their adventures as they tweet out about their experiences. The people I love to follow are connected to @HybridPed, @VConnecting, @InclusiveLN, @ecooWeb and @OSSEMOOC. I would not be connected to any of these groups without Twitter. It’s been like a magnet experience – we’ve gravitated together by our attraction for ideas and teaching practices.

    Twitter IS my professional learning, or should I say it’s the springboard to my learning. Tweets and links often lead to serendipitous learning spaces and places – it’s there when I’m ready and able to engage. My idea of ‘just in time’ PD. Twitter allows me to be an agent of my own professional inquiry.
    Thanks for this conversation!

    • colleenkr says:

      Helen, thank you so much for your thoughtful response ~ it’s nice to get to know you better! I love your description of Dean Shareski’s push that helped you move forward with your learning (and leading) — I hope I can hear the whole story one day! It’s interesting, isn’t it… the lurking we are allowed to do on Twitter, and the time it takes for some of us to move from lurking to participating. Some of us need a push, and some others would react differently if we were pushed. It sounds like Dean knew that you were ready, and I’m glad.

      I’m wondering if you have seen the movie “Pixels” yet? If so, you’ll know why this comment made me chuckle: “..trying to make meaning and code break this digital resource.” (let me know when you watch it) 😉

      The term “affinity space” was entirely new to me, so I quickly Googled it — how interesting, and what a perfect way to capture much of the learning we do on Twitter! For anyone else who might not be familiar with the term, here is the definition from Wikipedia: “An affinity space is a place – virtual or physical – where informal learning takes place. According to James Paul Gee, affinity spaces are locations where groups of people are drawn together because of a shared, strong interest or engagement in a common activity.”

      …and then there is this. Re: hashtags: “They change my voice from a whisper to a yell with an echo.” <– In my mind, I am visualizing the amplification that hashtags offer, which is so critical for those who deserve to have their voices heard.

      Thanks so much for sharing your ideas with all of us ~ and I'm so excited that you'll be sharing info about the session with others!

  27. jencasatodd says:

    Hi Colleen,
    Just read about this on This Week in Ontario Edublogs, and see that you have so many wonderful perspectives already. Here’s mine for what it’s worth.
    When did you “get connected” on Twitter?
    My husband started using it in 2011 to connect with Sports news. We both started to follow Steven Anderson (web 2.0) and then Richard Byrne (@rmbyrne) and George Couros (@gcouros) and that was it. My life as an educator changed dramatically.
    Why do you still use Twitter?
    I always tell teachers that every bit of professional learning, every tool I have ever learned about, has come from my connections on Twitter. Those were the early days when I was pretty much all about EDU. I use it to connect with people I have met at conferences or who work in my Board. I use it to get and share ideas and to gather various perspectives. It is a place of support and friendship for me now as well.
    Did anything confuse you about using Twitter?
    At first, everything! Here is a resource I created to help with some of it: http://jcasatodd.com/?page_id=128
    Do you know how to use a hashtag? YES! Why are they useful to you? As I continue to work to help teachers discover the power of being connected, I am really trying to use our District hashtag to build community. Personally, I use hashtags to search for information and to connect to a wider audience.
    Who are your favourite people to follow?
    Pretty much everyone who has responded here (and the many other great people suggested) have also provided me with new learning, support, challenge, friendship, or ideas! In addition to that, I have curated lists which I share with teachers, but also which I use to sort the amazing people I follow on Twitter. I think lists are a great feature of Twitter!
    Were there any moments when Twitter enabled you to make connections that weren’t possible before?
    Literally every day. Seriously. I can’t imagine my professional life without it!
    Have you used Twitter for any sort of professional learning?
    Yes. I presented an Ignite on being a Connected Educator: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEpqInVof4Y&feature=youtu.be
    I just presented a session on using Twitter for PD https://goo.gl/3otS8w and several on using Twitter in the Classroom.
    Good luck with your own presentation and thanks for the opportunity to reflect on Twitter and its impact on my learning.

    • colleenkr says:

      Jen, it’s so nice to hear from you! I’m very, very grateful that you provided a link to your blog — I’m looking through your resources & loving them. With your permission, would it be ok to use them to complement our online session?
      I love your suggestion to take advantage of lists — they’re so helpful! This is one of the many things I appreciate about Tweetdeck: creating a list in Twitter & following the list activity in Tweetdeck.

      What a wonderful way to build community within your district: who would think that something as simple as a hashtag could bring people together? 🙂

      I’m so glad you dropped in to visit this post & offer your ideas and resources — it’s great to get to know you!

      • jencasatodd says:

        Hi Colleen, by all means, please use whatever you wish! Honoured that you find them useful. The community building with the hashtag is slow but ever growing! Funny, I have never used my lists with Tweetdeck…I will look into that. Thx!
        Best,
        Jen

  28. @cyndidannerkuhn
    When did you “get connected” on Twitter? I have been using Twitter since 2008
    Why do you still use Twitter? It is my professional learning every day when I have time., I learn something every day. It is also the way I share resources with other educators including my students at Kansas State University who are all future teachers.
    Did anything confuse you about using Twitter? no, but until you follow lots of others with your interests, it isn’t valuable.
    Do you know how to use a hashtag? Why are they useful to you? Hashtags are awesome, my class hashtag is #ded318.
    Who are your favourite people to follow? On my goodness the list is long, Wes Fryer, Vicki Davis, Tony Vincent, Kevin Honeycutt and I could on and on…..
    Were there any moments when Twitter enabled you to make connections that weren’t possible before? every day, like this one!!
    Have you used Twitter for any sort of professional learning? All the time, I use it in professional development workshops I do, classes I teach, with colleagues, and for my own learning.

  29. colleenkr says:

    Cyndi, it’s great to have a visitor from Kansas! I’ll have to peek at the #ded318 tweets to see what you and your students are up to! You’ve listed some fabulous Twitter rockstars whose work has definitely impacted my learning as well as many others. I’m not familiar with Tony Vincent’s work yet, so I’ll be sure to look for his profile.
    Thanks so much for sharing your memories & suggestions for new Twitter users!

  30. mrcameron14 says:

    Hi Colleen! I’ve enjoyed the many thoughtful responses! Thought I’d add my 2 Twitter cents!
    Q1 When did you “get connected” on Twitter? I joined Twitter in the spring of 2013 to connect with a group of Apple Distinguished Educators I’d be meeting and working with in Austin, Texas. I had never used any type of social media before that point and was, in fact, quite opposed to it!
    Q2 Why do you still use Twitter? It has allowed me to learn, grow, share and connect in ways I never dreamed possible. Being a connectED teacher has allowed me to create a ConnectED classroom for my students. Their work and voice permeate far beyond the walls of the classroom. Being connected has empower and impassioned both my students and myself. Here’s a peak inside our ConnectED classroom:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPDN8wO4vzY I’m passionate about modelling the powerful, positive, responsible use of social media to our students. I believe their generation can do a much better job of using social media than ours has. Imagine if our kids use it only as a vehicle to spread good news and goodwill! Here’s a bog I wrote on “Ideas for Using Twitter in the classroom”: https://mrcssharesease.wordpress.com/twitter-ideas-for-the-classroom/
    Q3 Did anything confuse you about using Twitter? Yes, at first, everything. However, the patience, practise and time was well worth it.
    Q4 Do you know how to use a hashtag? Why are they useful to you? Yes, I know how to use the hashtag and my students and I have created some of our own. #SharesEase #KCups4Classrooms #ConnectEDt #NWOTchat I find using hashtags allows us to extend our “reach” when tweeting out our ideas, work and math challenges. I also follow and use hashtags to find and connect with subject/location specific educators and content. There’s also the (somewhat) controversial “tag”… https://mrcshareseaseblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/a-little-twitter-etiquette-to-tag-or-not-to-tag/ I personally do sometimes tag people in tweets, but am cognizant of whom I tag.
    Q5 Who are your favourite people to follow? Here is my list of “Twitter Must Follows”: https://mrcssharesease.wordpress.com/twitter-must-follows/ which was created by eliciting input from educators. Feel free to add yours!
    Q6 Were there any moments when Twitter enabled you to make connections that weren’t possible before? Uh… ya! I’m writing this response as a result of following @dougpete who posted your blog on his and because I was connected with you via twitter was enticed to read your blog. Now with your permission, I’d like to post my response to your questions on my blog with a link to your blog and perhaps even tweet it out….
    Q7 Have you used Twitter for any sort of professional learning? I’ve learned more from being connected on Twitter than any other means of professional development x100.
    Thanks Colleen, for the opportunity to once again reflect on my use Twitter and and for allowing me to share! Best of luck with your workshop!

    • colleenkr says:

      Peter, it’s great to hear from another “Northerner”! You’ve made me curious: why were you opposed to Twitter? This sounds like a very interesting story! I’m so glad that your learning has had a direct impact on your classroom — being connectED has provided so many rich learning experiences that you’ve been able to share with your students and the world!

      …and I’m thankful for your realistic reflection, regarding your first experiences with Twitter, along with helpful advice: “…the patience, practise and time was well worth it.”

      Your story of learning about this post via @dougpete is pretty cool. You definitely have my permission to share any way you like! It’s exciting to hope that people will benefit from these stories. Thanks so much for sharing yours!

  31. Pingback: In Response To ‘Are you an Educator? Do you use Twitter?’ | Mr.C's SharesEase Blog

  32. Rolland says:

    Hey! I can’t remember when I started using Twitter but I can say that it has benefited my practice. I have connected with people that I would never have been able to without it. It is helping my students see the world in a different way. It allows outsiders to come into my classroom and see what we are doing and offer up instant feedback. It provides a timeline of my (and my students) growth over time. It provides me with opportunities to learn and to share.

    Rolland (@rchids)

  33. When did you “get connected” on Twitter?
    It’s been little bites, big bite, little bites, big bite…This year, my bigger bite was Twitter. We run a high profile blog that I have been very connected to since I joined my FDK team. Twitter was a bit much to take on, until I could balance my engagement with the children/documenting/observation… I’m hard pressed to not engage with the children, but also want to ensure the transparency of what we do with our families and the educators who visit our blog. To my utter delight, the quick tweet of our authentic moments has been such a welcome documentation piece!
    Why do you still use Twitter? Sure do! Every day we are able to grab real time moments and share them with families and our educational community.
    Did anything confuse you about using Twitter? At the beginning. I want to send tweets to specific people and couldn’t because ‘they didn’t follow us’. Sometimes using @ and sometimes using # has taken a bit of getting used to. Still learning!
    Do you know how to use a hashtag? Why are they useful to you? From what I gather, hashtags offer the chance to bring together those who would share a common topic. The usefulness for me, so far, is to become a part of communities of like thinkers and groups. This has opened opportunities for others to follow us and we follow them back. Our ‘twitter pebble’ has been cast and the ripples are widening. This reciprocity has brought as much to us as we hope to share with others re: our programming and belief in how children learn.
    Who are your favourite people to follow? Oh boy! System leaders, The Mehrit Centre, David Suzuki, programs with shared pedagogy, our educational community. More specific?? Diane Kashin, Maureen Asselin, Cindy Green, Suzanne Axelsson, Ontario Reggio…and Chris Hadfield…I mean, really, who wouldn’t follow Chris Hadfield? He’s one cool Canadian! 😉
    Were there any moments when Twitter enabled you to make connections that weren’t possible before? Absolutely! I did my first Twitter chat at #ReggioPLC on Self-regulation. It was unbelievable to be able to have the conversation I had with colleagues I hold in such high regard…near and very far! #local #global
    Have you used Twitter for any sort of professional learning? Yes. See previous comment 🙂
    Twitter – WonderFilled FDK @JBrentECE
    Blog – The Wonderful World of Kindergarten http://joannepizzutoatgecdsbonca.blogspot.ca/

  34. banana29 says:

    Rodd Lucier’s post here just reminded me of another way that I really like to use Twitter….for play and to stimulate my own creativity! Danika Tipping (https://twitter.com/DanikaTipping) has directed two Shakespearean plays (Hamlet and Much Ado about Nothing) from start to finish using only Twitter! (well, there was a good calendar and action plan on her blog too). I really enjoyed my roles as Polonius and then Beatrice. Here’s her blog on the events: http://danikabarker.ca/barkerblog/?p=951 and we used the hashtag #muchtado

  35. Michelle Lachine says:

    @MmeLachine
    One of my favourite things to do using Twitter involved the Global Read Aloud. My students loved reading tweets from students around the world who were reading the same books we read. We were so fortunate to have an author and illustrator not only read our tweets, but respond and ask us questions. This really made the learning authentic for my students.

  36. Hi Colleen! Always great to connect with such an awesome SGDSB colleague. Kudos to the work you’re doing.

    I’ve been on Twitter since around 2009, but have only been active on it for the past five years. I use Twitter because I have a great professional learning community that spans Ontario and beyond. This network provides me with information, ideas, and perspectives that I wouldn’t get inside the walls of my school, which itself is located in a pretty remote location, (Geraldton, Ontario, Canada; about three hours northeast of Thunder Bay). Without Twitter, I wouldn’t have access to learning about educational tools, strategies, or ideas. It truly is an amazing thing.

    My favourite hashtags are course codes. This semester, I’m teaching #ENG3U #ENG4C and #ENG4U. Hashtagging course-specific content makes for easier searching and I highlight recommend it. #onted #onpoli and #edtech are also favourites. If you’re new to Twitter, that’s Ontario Education; Ontario Politics; and Educational Technology.

    I don’t have “favourite” people to follow because my Twitter is a cornucopia of people and subjects. It includes my professional and personal interests. Therefore, my suggestion is that if you’re beyond setting up a Twitter account, you investigate an organizational tool like Tweetdeck or HootSuite. These web-based apps allow you to organize Twitter into subject-specific columns and make navigating information easier.

    I look forward to connecting with new educators on Twitter. Congratulations for taking the plunge if you’re new. Collaboration and visible learning are really, really valuable.

    @GeraldtonSteve

  37. Kristen Davison says:

    @kdavisty
    – Joined two years ago when I was at the When Faith Meets Pedagogy Conference. @heycarabache said if we were educators and not on Twitter that we should be @perottatweets then challenged us to spread the good news online
    – I love staying connected with board colleagues and all the amazing things they are doing. It’s also been transformative to interact with the authors of books I’m reading, presenters on OTF and TeachOntario and more!

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