This was beneficial to me for a few reasons.
- It gave me a whole new group of people to follow. If I liked what you said, I clicked the FOLLOW button. That way I can keep track of your thoughts, ideas, and lessons in the future.
- Multitasking is not necessarily efficient, but helpful. While I was sitting in a session and tweeting about it, I was reading other people's thoughts. It was as if I was sitting in two or three rooms at once. In fact, here is a whole list of things I picked up on from other people.
- It made those boring and useless sessions less of a waste of time. When I felt that I wasn't learning anything in a session, I could tune out the speaker and pay attention to Twitter.
- I could ask a question and get an answer from someone who was in a session about that. I was able to get answers about Minecraft in schools and math apps for high school this way.
These connections took me further than the people at the conference. I am now connected with the teachers from the real classroom session through Twitter, and sharing ideas through blogs. I also blew off one session (I was super late due to slow breakfast service) because I got an email from a Kindergarten teacher who is helping me forge my way through the primary classes. I read her email on the escalator and knew that the ideas she just fed me would help me succeed as a Kindergarten teacher and I needed to work on that idea.
What I'm driving at is this. Teachers can become better by expanding their network. We no longer have to resort to reading a text book to get great ideas. They are all around us. By joining in the Twitter and blog conversation, I have more access to information, support, and encouragement than ever before.
So, the next time you go to a conference, join in the conversation on Twitter and see how much more you can learn!