I will always remember the first conversation I had with a professional colleague about Twitter. I’d attended BLC and been swept away in a Twitter tidal wave by Liz Davis and Lisa Thumann. (This also, coincidentally enough, was where the @8amber8 moniker came from…who knew this tool would become my go to PD reference and I’d have to explain that bad boy all the time!)
It came up in conversation that no one wanted to know what I’d had for lunch that day, that Twitter was pointless. This thought has now gone by the way side, 🙂 and there are 243 million monthly active users. While some may still talk about their lunch, it has become a place to share and be shared with. Twitter is an outstanding communication tool for three main reasons:
- Twitter enables you to release brief, 140 character, gems of greatness to the world.
- Twitter encourages conversations outside of your silo.
- Twitter is word of mouth “genius sharing”. Great ideas get shared, and seen, and built upon.
Are you worried you don’t have anything to say? Wonder if your ideas are tweet worthy?
Here are 5 things you can tweet about….
1. Edu Wins: Share the good things happening on your campus. Break down the walls of and allow others to see what is happening. Tell your story. There are GREAT things happening every day in our schools, we should want to invite everyone to know how amazing our students and teachers are. An elephant can be eaten, one bite at a time, and some of our tweets may be those bites that show others just what we do.
2. Great ideas: My favorite event we’ve done this year has been “Tacos & Technology”, an idea I learned about from Sam LeDeaux, a principal in Chicago. While I love both tacos & technology, I’d never thought about putting them together for a parent night until he shared what is campus had done.
3. Support: A PLN becomes your educational support system. Need to ask a question and not feel judged? Need affirmation that what you are thinking or doing is what’s best for kids? There are people there to support you…and vice versa. Support others!
4. Questions: If you’ve ever read a thought-provoking article and wanted to discuss it with someone, here’s your chance. Tweet the link and start a conversation. Wonder how to make genius hour work? This space allows you have dialogue with other educators, other practitioners, who have tried it. Learn from them!
5. Who are you? George Couros has written about the difficulty in keeping your personal and professional life separate. Educators are persuaders. So much of our professional life is inspired by the personal connections we have. It’s impossible to keep those separate and yet simultaneously woven into the relationships we develop. You can’t know my heart if you don’t know a little of whats inside of it.
4 things that you shouldn’t ever tweet about, 🙂
1. Negativity: There are enough negative people in the world. We don’t need anymore like that. Any donkey can knock down a building, but it takes a special donkey to build one up.
2. Rants: Same as above. Ranting and raving will not solve anything. This isn’t that kind of space, and it undermines our goals in education: to lift up, inspire, and to teach.
3. Profane or inappropriate thoughts, images, jokes: The best (and safest) social media advice I’ve ever been given came from our communications coordinator. If it isn’t something you’d be ok with on the headline of the newspaper or happening in your school lobby, don’t post it. He didn’t say don’t DO IT, he said don’t post it, anywhere. There’s enough that can happen in life that we don’t, as an educational system, need to be sharing publicly things that could damage our professional image or efficacy. That’s a lesson to learn the hard way. Just ask her, her, or her... (Three cases have gone to the Supreme Court involving educators and free speech, and all three lost, by the way.)
4. Remember your purpose! If you’re on Twitter to learn, to share, and to grow professionally, as defined by your intent and bio, then do that.
What of your reasons have I missed? Not jumped into the Twitterverse? What’s holding you back?