Last Week on Twitter

This was originally posted on English Companion Ning in October, 2010.  I’m re-posting it here so others can see it as an example of how to convey the value of Twitter as a professional development tool.


Although Twitter is an important part of my on-going professional development, I find that many people not on Twitter think that it’s a junky way to spend time. Sure, there is a certain amount of blah blah blah on Twitter, and if a user wants to receive a steady stream of jokes, celebrity news, and political rants, Twitter can definitely provide that.


But if a user builds a solid list of people to follow, Twitter can be enormously helpful.

For the past week, I kept track of the specific ways that Twitter helped me:

· Participated in a dynamic discussion about effective group work

· Read an article about Rhode Island’s standardized testing program that goes for three weeks in October

· Kept up on the progress of a friend running in the Chicago Marathon

· Found out about the existence of the Don’t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus DVD, an excellent video version of one of our family’s favorite picture books

· Found a teacher with resources about the Roman Empire for a history teacher colleague

· Asked followers what they like/dislike about Shakespeare on a live feed with a class of sophomores

· Communicated with a Canadian principal about how teachers at his school write blogs as part of their professional development days

· Found a great literature resource with audio and links:

· Added an RSS feed from Jon Winokur’s Advice to Writers to our Writers Week web page

· Followed live updates on the Chilean mine rescue

· Followed live updates from our local school board meeting

· Received updates from Amazon about some excellent free MP3 songs

· Heard from a student absent from class who checked Twitter for the journal topic he missed.

· Received a friendly reminder that I was in the process of missing a meeting

· Received a valuable list of other American Studies teachers on Twitter.

· Found an important article about the downside of mandated teaching practices

· Read numerous blogs from educators who model reflection and progressive thinking

· Communicated with a teacher in a neighboring state about having our students comment on each other’s blogs


Along with English Companion Ning, Twitter provides me with valuable professional development on a daily basis.


If you’ve had positive or negative experiences with Twitter, I’d like to hear about them. If I can help you get going on Twitter, please let me know. Thanks for reading this.


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2 Responses to Last Week on Twitter

  1. glenda says:

    I have a colleague who just joined Twitter a couple of weeks ago. Friday she thanked me for introducing her to Twitter and shared about some principals whom she follows and the dynamic ways they build community and handle difficult situations in their schools, adding “Why can’t our administration do that?” Indeed, Twitter isn’t just noise, so I hope you’ll add links to those articles you mentioned above!


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