My twitter journey began in February 2009 during my first year as a principal.
Like most, I was reluctant to sign up after hearing about it, but finally signed up after my 2 favorite principals on the Practical Principals podcast
mentioned it in a couple of their podcasts. In the beginning I only followed about 10 other principals and built some strong connections with those that I followed. I couldn’t believe how much I could learn from others online in just 140 characters. I can recall one night when I spent hours searching who each of them were following so that I could follow as many principals as I could find.
For probably a year (possibly longer) I only followed principals on twitter and had my account set to secure/private. This changed after I realized how many other great people I found to follow because someone else retweeted one of their tweets. I can recall trying to retweet a great tweet with a link, but couldn’t because they were set to private and realized that I was preventing myself from gaining other great followers to connect with if I was set to private. I also started finding great blog posts and other resources to share with my staff so I began expanding my PLN (Professional/Personal Learning Network) even further by following as many great teachers as I could.
I talk about the great things I learn from twitter as much as possible. I cannot tell you how many times I have shared something with a teacher/colleague and was asked, “where did you learn that?” My reply always is, “I learned it from someone on twitter.”
Within the past year I have made it my personal mission to spread the word about twitter to as many as I can, because it means I can expand my PLN and learn from even more great educators/administrators. I have written about it for a colleague’s grad class which I also posted here.
I taught teachers about it last summer at the Regional Summer Teacher Academy (co-founded by @MrAaronOlson
and myself), which I also recorded screencasts of here.
This week I had the pleasure of sharing twitter with my administrative colleagues at the AWSA (Association of Wisconsin School Administrators) Convention along with @WiscPrincipal
, 2 amazing admin colleagues that I met on twitter. Here is the presentation we shared (it wasn’t just “sit and get,” we gave a lot of time for hands-on experience and help getting started using twitter):
I was excited by how many of our session attendees started using twitter that evening and even more excited to see this tweet today:
Even though many think I’m crazy when I say, “I learned that from twitter” I’m not going to stop, because once they get started they are also reaping the benefits of my PLN!
This December we will be sharing again at the SLATE Convention (School Leaders Advancing Technology in Education). So, if you’re in Wisconsin reading this and know others that don’t know the power of Twitter yet, please tell them about it and encourage them to go to SLATE if they have the opportunity as well.