I have been thinking a lot about how I can improve my network of support and ideas. This diagram from http://georgecouros.ca/blog/my-digital-footprint is a great visual of what I want to accomplish with my online PLN. At the present moment, I work in a small school, and although we have a VERY dedicate and passionate staff, there just aren't that many of us. I am still on that journey of figuring out how to do it, but I can say that in the last two weeks my life has really been flipped upside down with the introduction of one simple application.
I was always firmly in the anti-Twitter camp. Over the last few years I have called it everything from a waste of time, to stupid, to the largest waste of human resource in the history of mankind. I was wrong. And thus, I am formerly apologizing to Twitter.
Sorry Twitter. I am sorry about all the hurtful and destructive things I have said about in the last two years. I am sorry I openly mocked you in public parks, pubs and private residences. I am sorry.
The truth is that you provide me with the resource that I crave the most; the one thing that I have an insatiable appetite for. Ideas. Ideas are the most important tool in a teachers toolbox. When you have ideas, anything is possible. The more ideas you get, the better your ideas become. Ideas spawn new ideas, which evolve into great ideas. And great ideas are what I am after.
Over the last week on Twitter:
- I have bookmarked so many sites and dowloaded so many apps and read so many manuscripts and pedagogical theories that my head is spinning.
- I read A Mathematicians Lament by Paul Lockhart.
- I have started using Diigo.
- I found about a plethora of virtual storytelling sites.
- I have been introduced to countless passionate and inspiring blogs.
- I found out that Apple has a Distinguished Educator award (I am an Apple nut and have a MacBook per kid in my class).
- And most importantly, I have been started to build a network of other teachers who are as passionate about this job as I am.
And these have all come from Twitter. I don't even have to try! I just open it and click on the first couple links I see and all of a sudden I have a list of the Ten Best Teacher Apps for an iPad. I download them, then use them in class. If they are good, I keep them. If not, I ditch them and try something new. That is what love about what Twitter is providing me; Ideas that encourage risk-taking and experimentation. Without this, we get stuck in a rut and do the same thing over and over again. When we stop learning, so do our kids.
Twitter is a great tool for educators and one that I will highly recommend to all other teachers that I come across.
In conclusion, I am sorry Twitter.
And Thank You Twitter.