Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Using Social Media as Professional Development: Twitter

As mentioned previously, this is one of a series of posts. You can find a post on BloggingFacebookPinterest/Instagram, and Twitter (What a Twitter Chat isHow to use Twitter as PD).

Twitter was divided in two because I had already posted about Twitter Chats.  This post will focus on how to find and grow your PLN (Professional Learning Network) specific to your subject area or leadership position.

I'm posting this assuming that you have a Twitter account and are ready to start using it.  If you are not there yet, please see the previous post about Twitter Chats

How do you find what/who to follow with a professional Twitter account?

To find teachers to follow you might want to start here.  This post highlights who you might want to start to follow on twitter (click here).  Once you start following some teachers, you will see what they tweet, and retweet and who you follow can start to grow.

As a leader or teacher, you might want to start with these amazing people.  Laura Grundler @GrundlerArt is an amazing Art Curriculum Specialist.  She looked at Twitter to develop her PLN for her very large district.  She developed #K12ArtChat with her husband (Matthew Grandler @ArtGuy76) to use in her district, but this chat got a lot bigger and it is now world wide.  It has connected a lot of people. 

Shean Gaillard @smgillard is a principal who also has developed a Twitter Chat, his is #edbeat.  This guys has a love for music, and education.  His topics are positive and his Tweets are uplifting.  No matter if you are a teacher of a Educational leader, you should follow this guy.

George Couros @gcouros holds the title of "Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning" not sure what that is... but I am sure that he is a rock star on both Twitter and in person. I have been able to hear him speak a TIES in Minneapolis MN and was truly inspired with his passion and positive message.  

I could go on and on with the amazing educators to follow but what I really want to highlight with these three is that there are leaders and educators alike using Twitter as Professional development.  They are reaching out to others and have found a powerful feed in the messages Tweeted every day.

Groups sometimes will highlight great educators. Check out the list above... This was brought to my attention by @Csajko who responded to a question about Mindset... see below.

There are a lot of educational Apps and websites that you can follow.  These apps will often highlight how the product is being used in other classrooms.  You can also share how you are using their product by hashtaging them or using their name such as @DoInkTweet.

Authors in education are great to follow as well.  For example, Dave Burgess @burgessdave is the author of 'Teach like a Pirate'.  His message is and philosophy of his book is shared over and over on Twitter.  Teachers love him and his ideas.  The wonderful thing about Twitter is it connects people with one another, it levels the playing field... everyone is a leader, we all have equal voices on Twitter.  Burgess (famous author mind you...) has even 'Tweeted me back' before :) Still waiting for Adam Levine @Maroon5 to give me a little shout out ;)

This also works for products, field trip sites, or educational events.  All of these will update on Twitter and sometimes even give coupons. 

Another way that Twitter has worked well for PD is by using it Continuing Education Classes such as with two Learners Edge Classes I took this summer.  We were asked to share via social media our 'take away' of the different field trips that we took.  I used Twitter for this under the hashtag #TCWallsLIII and #TCWallsI.  I used my blog and twitter to complete my homework for this course as well as share the information with others (more on the field trip class here).

I have been involved with educational or personal growth through challenges. @smARTisteacher has created #K12ArtChallenge for the last several months.  These challenges bring together a large, diverse group of people.  There has been Journal challenges, Sketchbook challenges, Reflection Challenges, and in Oct. there is going to be an Artist Trading Card Challenge hosted by yours truly (more to come on that event).

There are a lot of educational chats out there as well.  I have started to make a list, but this will be added onto as others comment and let me know about great twitter chats out there. This is a live link, and will continue to be updated.

The list above are live chats.  You show up at the designated time on Twitter and so does everyone else.  You interact, answer questions, and comment on one another.  There is also something called a slow chat.  This is where a person will put a question out there for others to answer in throughout a day or week.  An example of this is #slowchatpe geared towards PE Teachers.

Sometimes you just want to follow a hashtag of interest.  For example, #PISDMusic.  This is a Texas group of Music teachers from what I can gather, that are using Twitter as a PLC (Professional Learning Community).  They tweet about issues, and celebrate what is going on in their classrooms through Twitter.

These are just a couple of ways that I think you can use Twitter as a Educational Professional Development.


  1. Very information blog post... I am just now getting really involved with the benefits of Twitter even though I have been on it since 2009. This post helped a lot.

  2. This is great I'm relatively new to Twitter and you're right! I was surprised how many wonderful people I've met, and how many great ideas there are out there.