In the latter part of the last decade, I was a middle school social studies teacher, progressive in many, many ways but not so when it came to incorporating technology into my classes. To my way of thinking, Twitter was a stupid computer thing where celebrities posted their inane thoughts. And the 140 character limit seemed arbitrary and stupid. The whole idea just seemed pointless.
In few areas have my thoughts changed more than on my thoughts on Twitter. I use it all the time, both professionally and personally.
How do I use Twitter?
I'm a passionate Philadelphia sports fan. Following the twitter stream at #Eagles or #Sixers makes the whole game watching experience more fun. It's a blast when the Eagles or Sixers are playing great.
I get much of my news through Twitter. I follow several prominent bloggers and tweeters across a large part of the political spectrum.
I use Twitter to inform my teaching philosophy and to find great ideas and best practices. I follow ed theorists, thought leaders and classroom teachers. The stream is endless. I spend at about 20 minutes a day on Twitter. It is such a useful and fun tool.
I still don't follow Justin Bieber and my initial reactions about how dumb it is to follow celebrities in large part still holds. But Twitter is so much more than that. It is the primary tool in my PLN toolkit.
If you've never tweeted before, jump in, the water is warm. Here is an old tutorial made by my much missed former colleague +Kyle Beatty on how to get started in Twitter.
Twitter reminds me how vast the internet is. I can't keep up with my Twitter feed. So much comes through. But that's okay. I'm connected to a vast amount of knowledge and various ideas. I get to influence ideas and thoughts far beyond my classroom through tweeting myself. I've even had exchanges with important thinkers .They've answered me when I've replied to their tweets.