At the time of writing this rather evangelical "demand" for teachers to not take up arms, I was on a global massive high having discovered this incredible on-learning community that held similar aspirations and expectations for students of today and tomorrow. Fiona Grant made a good point and a fair call in challenging the notion of twitter chats having to be "compulsory" for all students. However I do think ALL teachers need to at the very least "online" and "globally connected & aware" in terms of their educational and pedagogical learnings. I do still strongly believe in the role of twitter as a unique and highly credible professional learning context.
Having now run near 40 twitter chats and been a contributor in now hundred of world-wide chats, I can safely say that this has been the most effective professional learning I have ever been exposed to and this includes my Masters study. But why so? Firstly I have to choose a topic I am passionate about, that other people would interested in, and then be prepared to defend my opinion in a safe but very challenging conversational environment over 60 often furious minutes. The second reason why I find my professional learning via twitter chats is that I am not just discussing educational issues with just my immediate school or country-located colleagues but indeed participants from literally the four corners of the world. In having such global discussions with an incredibly diverse range of individuals in often varying educational locations and positions, I realise how important I hear and talk on issues and also how important it is that New Zealand contributes to this most important of discussions.
Here is the original article published 9/8/15
On Monday 3rd August 2015 9.30pm (NZT), I hosted my third #twitter chat in three days. The first two chats were part of #EdCampGlobal, the last one was the first of my regular #digitaledchat sessions.
Over the three chats, it became distinctly aware to even this social media for professional learning novice the power, significance and need for twitter to be one of many but never-the-less a compulsory professional learning undertaking for all teachers and those adults with any connection to student education, pathways and achievement.
So without further ado, here is why I believe twitter edchats should be compulsory for all teachers:
- The world becomes your professionally learning network, your team of "nutty professors"
- You learn to be academically deep but succinct
- You can give and receive"now" from great educators all over the world
- You have to cease teaching and thinking in a silo
- You gain validation for your beliefs and pedagogy
- You quickly realise that all teachers/educators are facing the same constraints/challenges to some extent
- Technology use for education becomes natural, almost hidden in the learning process
- You realise that you are indeed a "nutty professor" passionate and driven in terms of student achievement & futures
- You gain immediate access to a vast range of globally accessible PL opportunities
- You realise that location, race, age, gender or tenure has no bearing on the valuing of your voice or your contributions
- You see the huge potential of twitter for student, parent and community engagement