Out With Erin

Exploring the Beauty of YYC and Beyond

Over the past school year, twitter has become a great friend of mine. Not only does it allow you to connect with others, but I have found that I have learned an immense amount, mainly through the source of participating in twitter chats. I try to participate in one weekly, sometimes up to three, and sometimes none, but I have found that the more I participate, the more I want to. It’s easy to become addicted. The learning capabilities are endless and it’s an incredible way to “meet” and connect with new educators all over the world.

I thought it would be valuable to highlight the advantages of participating in a twitter chat:

1) Free PD – Twitter chats are free! That’s right, you have the ability to learn from millions of people around the globe: experts and innovative thinkers who will offer you new ideas, things to try, advice, and much more!

2) Learning about new resources – There are always suggestions and resources shared during twitter chats. Whether it’s an app someone couldn’t live without, a website that makes someone’s life easier, or a motivating book someone read, you will always learn about some kind of new resource.

3) Share your ideas – Chats are a great platform for sharing your own knowledge. I know as a teacher, I love collaborating with others. Chats allow you to do this. You are able to bounce ideas off one another, gain suggestions from others, and share what you are an “expert” in. We all have strengths and things to contribute, so why not share them with the world?

4) Have your ideas challenged – Conversely, one is able to have their ideas challenged. It can be easy for teachers to get stuck in the same thoughts or the same way of teaching something. Twitter chats allow your current practice or ideas to be challenged by others. It’s a fabulous learning process!

5) Connect with other educators – The most valuable part of twitter chats is the ability to connect with other educators around the globe. You can be learning with someone that would have never been possible before. Your PLN becomes a resource for help, guidance, advice, and tips. It’s a great way to continue your personal learning journey.

If you’ve never tried out a chat before, I highly recommend that you do. Be a lurker initially, if you want to see how it all works, or take the leap and jump in and share your thoughts. You’ll be surprised about how easy it is. Don’t forget to use a platform like tweetdeck to make your life easier, and always use your hashtag. Once you try it out, I think you’ll be surprised by the ease, accessibility, learning, and fun that you’ll have. Happy tweeting!

Here is a comprehensive list of weekly educational twitter chats.

My district is hosting our first ever twitter chat on Monday. It would be a great first chat to participate in, or a wonderful way to share your own comments about integrating technology in your classroom.

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