It’s been 1 year since I’ve been actively using Twitter and made it a part of my PLN (Personal Learning Network). Here’s what I’ve done to extend my PLN, keep learning, and start giving back to teachers and the teaching profession in my retirement. I love being a connected educator and it is great to write this article during Connected Educator Month #CE13.
STEP 1: I started by seeking out people to follow in order to learn new things and find new resources.
STEP 2: As I went across the country doing workshops for teachers, I shared my Twitter contact information with my participants and all of the wonderful things I was learning from Twitter and my PLN.
STEP 3: I started sharing some of my resources on my blog and wikis. Teachers that used my school websites to access some of my projects started sending me emails when they were no longer available (now that I’m retired). So, I tweeted where to find where to find them.
- My blog –http://NAPmath.wordpress.com
- SMART Notebook/ SMART boards – http://SmartBoardSmarty.wikispaces.com
- Resources for new and pre-service math teachers – http://GreenApples.wikispaces.com
- Geometry – http://GeometryGems.wikispaces.com
- Promethean Board/ActivInspire resources – http://ActivInspireAdventures.wikispaces.com
- Resources for lessons, web pages, documents, and more – http://ResourceGarden.wikispaces.com
STEP 4: I started looking into hashtags (#) and found that they were an easy way to search for conversations and collaborations on Twitter. I started seeing conversations between people on Twitter and discussions centered around certain topics.
STEP 5: Hashtags (#) also led me into twitter chats and found these are amazing ways to connect with excited educators doing innovative things in their classrooms to enhance the learning of their students. I have to admit I am a lurker on new chats to get the feel for the conversation and while I determine if the chat is for me. So, if you’re not sure, just do a search on the hastag for the chat and read the conversations – P.S. It’s a great way to find others that you want to learn from too! When looking for new chats/groups, I look at what is trending and that’s how I’ve found some of these amazing chats (and before I knew organized lists existed!)
Some of my favorite chats:
- #21stedchat – 21st Century Education Chat – 7 pm CST
- #alg1chat – Algebra 1 Chat 8 pm CST
- #edtechchat – Educational Technology Chat – 7 pm CST
- #tlap – Teach Like a Pirate – 8 pm CST
- #iledchat – Illinois educators – 9 pm CST
- #makered – Maker Ed (k-12 classrooms built around Maker/DIY principles) – 5 pm CST
- #PATUE – Palo Alto Twitter Using Educators (pedagogy and technology) 7 pm CST
- #SMARTee – SMART Exemplary Educators – 8 pm CST
- #hsmath – high school math chat – 8:30 pm CST
- #ntchat – New Teacher Chat – 7 pm CST
- #geomchat – Geometry Chat (transitioning to Common Core) – 8 pm CST every other week (next on Oct 30)
- #mathchat – Math teachers chat – 6 pm CST
- #calcchat – Calculus chat – 12:30 – 1:30 AM EST (yes right after midnight EST)
- #satchat – Saturday Chat (general topics) – 6:30 – 7:30 am CST and 9:30 – 10:30 am CST
Step 6: I gave my first webinar yesterday! It was by no means perfect but I found out what it’s like not to see your audience or hear from them – very strange. I built a nice #SMART notebook file for the participants, put it on the web for them to download, and have been hearing from them since the workshop. Thank you for your comments and support if you were at the webinar. I don’t have to wonder if you learned something new and found that it was not a waste of your precious time. At last check over 90 people have downloaded the file (http://smartboardsmarty.wikispaces.com/ed2ed) and I today I woke up and saw this:
YAY!!!! Thank you to all of my followers on Twitter for having faith and interest in what I have to say. Thanks to all of the people I’m following – I’m learning SO much. So, if you’re on Twitter, consider following me. Chances are that I’ll follow you back. If you’re not on Twitter, consider joining and expanding your PLN.
For more information on Connected Educator Month (CEM), visit http://connectededucators.org/about-connected-educators-mission-goals/ and I love the resources and activities in the CEM Starter Kit – a free download at http://connectededucators.org/cem/cem-getting-started/ . I’m participating and earning badges. It’s sort of fun but I really don’t know what to do with them other than collect them. I guess there must be more to learn. If you know what I should do with these badges, let me know in a comment on this blog or tweet me @NAPmath.