Disclaimer: If you read this and swear by twitter, I need you to commit to commenting after reading so I can bring you more educators who have great things to say…read on.
I open with a quote I found on George Couros’ Principal of Change blog this morning that has stuck with me all day.
“I have always believed that you could have been a great teacher ten years ago, changed nothing, and now be irrelevant”
A few teachers I know have been on my mind since I read that. Teachers, I understand, who require simple, slight nudges to step into the lines of change. Teachers I have been patient with as I nudge, nudge, and nudge, yet they only teeter but never take that first tip toe. I hope they start moving soon because they have so much potential and offer much on a daily basis and invest SO MUCH into their teaching. But at the same time, they are ever so slowly falling behind and being noticed, and noted, less and less.
Then there are other innovative teacher friends out there who, in their schools, remain relevant. But they don’t even realize that they are starving us of their ideas and insights. They still use facebook to try and reach those of us who have chosen twitter as our off-hours PD; we who have realized the career changing potential of Twitter.
Twitter IS career changing.
Everytime I say that I see the look on a peer’s face as freshly as if I were looking at a framed photo when I encouraged her to join twitter, promising her “skeptical self” that it would be JUST for connecting during NCTIES a few years ago. I assured her that after NCTIES, she never had to look at it again. The look I was returned with was that of Gary Coleman in the role of Arnold, “Whatchu talkin’ ‘bout Willis!?” But she did it. And she has never been the same again. She will admit to anyone that Twitter has been a career changer. Feel free to follow Dawn Vinson @techy_teach1.
Ironic, isn’t it? Twitter is limited to 140 characters but the messages, connections and growth we get from it is immeasurable. Facebook, on the other hand, allows limitless typing and posting yet I find myself there only for a quick glance for any reminders I might need from my staff or PTA group, or to post pictures for my far away family to stay connected to me or, if I may be so bold, out of boredom which DOES, admittedly, allow me to keep up with old friends as a residual effect.
While I am on Facebook, I also see some VERY respected and insightful educator friends of mine post what are probably some very insightful and enlightening articles there. These people wouldn’t post anything less than meaningful. But I am not investing my time on Facebook for anything more than a quick update or a family connection.
I pondered most of my Sunday how to gently say what I can’t find a gentle way to say.
I don’t read your articles you put on Facebook. I don’t Facebook for PD. I don’t know many who do. But when I click on my twitter feed,I am there because I craved stimulation. I am not on Twitter out out of boredom. I am there very intentionally; attention undivided, ready to indulge in professional growth and connection.
To my facebook, educator friends:
How can I convince you to step away from Facebook and ask me questions about how Twitter works? Better yet, can I convince you to go there and explore more? Merely having an account doesn’t count. Not understanding it isn’t growth mindset. Don’t become irrelevant. You have too much to share! I’ve seen it in person! Share it with those you can’t otherwise reach. Tweet! Please move your articles you feel compelled to share on facebook to your Twitter feed so I can grow from them!
Here is what I ask of my Twitter PLN.
Please comment after this post and tell why YOU tweet. How has Twitter changed you? Why do you spend your off hours on twitter? I want to tweet (and Facebook) your comments to see if I can get more of my amazing educator friends “twitter-active”. They have so much to share. We are missing out. And I am saddened to know they, too, are missing out.
A blog entry that came across my twitter feed this evening speaks to this even though she speaks about being connected, in general. Twitter, itself, connects in the same way as Nathalie Ludwig @LudwigsBusyBees writes about.
I encourage everyone to read her blog after you finish commenting here. The entry is titled, A Whole New World: Being a connected educator. Find it at nathalieludwig.wordpress.com or by clicking her link on my blog homepage.
I comment, I believe: “I have always believed that you could have been a great teacher ten years ago, changed nothing, and now be irrelevant” ~George Couros.
Follow him, too @gcouros.
My facebook friends: I will nudge you into blogging at a later time 🙂
So, why do you tweet? Can I get a few quotable comments to tweet…and post to Facebook?