Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How Twitter became my Professional Learning Network

Professional Development has always been an important part of my job as a classroom teacher since it allowed for growth. However, last year when I moved out of the classroom I was now in a role where I would be responsible for my own professional growth.  As an Instructional Technology Specialist, how to find resources become a focus, as I envisioned helping teachers implement technology. With the fast pace of the 21st century, I knew that innovative technology was available, but I wasn’t sure how to put my hands on them.

Twitter was on the rise, and I had many friends using it as a social networking tool. I created an account, still not knowing the full capabilities that awaited me. Once day I happened upon @TeachPaperless and that was the beginning of an amazing journey. From there I started what has been referred to as a PLN (Professional Learning Network). I quickly began to find articles on Twitter regarding the “what and why” behind building a PLN.
What I found was amazing and beyond anything I had ever experienced before. Twitter allowed me a plethora of current technology resources in education. I follow some amazing people who share incredible projects, articles, and the latest news regarding technology. Each morning I look forward to learning something new on Twitter. 

Developing a PLN using Twitter was powerful in my new position as an Instructional Technology Specialist. A few resources to get you started with Twitter:

  • How to get started using Twitter (click here for instructions)
  • How to create and use lists on Twitter (click here for instructions)
  • Apps for mobile devices: TwitBird Pro ($2.99 has a great layout and easy to view), Tweetdeck/Echofon (Free. Also there is a desktop application.)
  • Feel free to look at the professionals I follow on Twitter under the "Instructional Tech" list.  

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