Monday, August 25, 2014

Getting Your Tweet On

Inservice Day One: I was still reeling from having to wake up at an ungodly hour and processing the fact that my blessed summer was over. I skipped out on the mandatory "Eat Lunch With Someone Else So You Can Get To Know Him/Her" lunch and quietly at my sandwich at my desk while cranking out some last minute work... and it happened.

My principal popped into my office and gave me a job.  (She does this frequently. I need to find myself a hidden office she can't pop into.)  I was given a new task -- teach Twitter to my colleagues tomorrow, and I had a half hour to do it. #Ishouldagonetolunch

Many connected teachers have learned in recent years that Twitter is a great source for personalized and FREE professional development. It's wonderful to connect with other educators whom we wouldn't otherwise meet and learn from. Granted, there are other avenues of collaboration, but Twitter is so convenient, I was thrilled with the chance to teach it the next day!

Inservice Day Two: There was a general buzz among the faculty as they contemplated getting on Twitter.  Some were excited. Some insisted they wouldn't do it. Some were apprehensive. That's OK. Twitter isn't for everyone, but at least we were giving them the option.

Does your school block social media sites? I was assured Twitter would be unblocked for my session...but it wasn't.  I was hoping for a hassle-free start. For some, an immediate roadblock all the excuse some people need to skip out on a new technology.  Anyhow, we found our individual ways around the filter and got rolling on Twitter.

I had a half hour to wax eloquent on Twitter, which is about half a day less than I would have liked. Fortunately, I had other Twitter users in the room who helped me out as we got some people signed up and answers tons of questions.  We talked about why Twitter is a good thing, who to follow, and a cursory introduction to hashtags. We had a half dozen or so teachers take the plunge.  Many teachers didn't join up, but at least they got to see it in action.  One teacher stated, "I'm just glad I know what a hashtag is. My kids won't tell me when I ask them!"

Later that day... I went home and saw my overflowing pile of zucchini and squash waiting to be eaten and sent this tweet.

The winner was our first grade teacher, who happened to be showing her college-aged daughter her new Twitter account.  "Oh! Zucchini! How do I retweet?"

The next night, I did the same thing with my pumpkins.

Of course, this was just a way to get people excited to use Twitter, but the real thrill came later in the week. 

Thursday morning.  Our preschool director emailed me about using iPads in her class.  She just received four iPads for preschool and wanted help getting started.  The best line from her email? "You'll be happy to know that I have been researching the topic on Twitter!"   

And THAT was the whole goal of the exercise. I'm pretty excited! Not only did I get rid of some of my excess produce, but we have some teachers beginning to collaborate outside our building.  This is gonna be good!

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