Okay, I had heard of Twitter, and I had seen plenty of television tickers and websites with tweets scrolling across the bottom of the screen. One of my reading education professors even required us to create Twitter accounts to follow her for updates, but that was more than two years ago. Unfortunately, she was the only one I ever followed and I never took the time to actually tweet. (Which is strange as I usually have PLENTY to say.) I was completely satisfied using Facebook, my favorite social network, to obtain the latest news, status updates and gossip. After all, it was through Facebook that I first learned of the death of Whitney Houston. (May she rest in peace.)
Admittedly (and probably unsurprisingly) I am/was a Twitter-verse neophyte. It was only a week or so ago that I set up a new account (of course I could not recall my username or password on my original account. It WAS two years and several usernames and passwords ago!) and began following some of my favorite reading peeps such as Donalyn Miller and my boyfriend Kelly Gallagher (my apologies to Mr. Gallagher, his wife and to my husband as they are all completely unaware of our phantom relationship). It was from viewing who THEY follow and viewing their followers, that I began following several other teachers who are experts in this wonderful world of education. Suddenly, I find myself checking Twitter more often than I should be, yet I am completely enamored with the wealth of information, ideas, lists and links provided to me with every one of those checks. Who knew you could obtain so much information from 140 characters or less? (Apparently, from the looks of it---just about everyone!)
I know there are some of us who haven't discovered the realm of Twitter. If you haven't embraced or even attempted to use this medium, I highly recommend it. Don't overwhelm yourself and feel as if you have to start tweeting, but do take the time to search for and start to follow your favorite authors, celebrities, politicians, friends, and maybe even your students. Eventually, they could follow you too! You could post reminders, assignments, links to articles, etc. I suppose that reading professor of mine was trying to model this for me. (Unfortunately, I STILL haven't taken it that far yet. Stay tuned in future posts...)
Anyway, today I read an interview on Education Week's Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook with Will Richardson, a teacher turned technology expert. There were several points made in the interview that resonated with me, but when asked what traits he would look for in teachers who embody what is needed for advancements in technological literacy, he offered the following:
I would want to see that they have a presence online, that they are participating in these spaces, and, obviously, that they are doing so appropriately. Also, I’d want to know that they have some understanding of how technology is changing teaching and learning and the possibilities that are out there.
My mind is spinning at the possibilities! I believe that Twitter could, in fact, help me to be a better teacher because being a good teacher is no longer just about teaching--it's about learning.
The irony here is that this article was originally published in October 2010 and I never even saw it until today. Guess how I found it? Yes, my friends, through Twitter.
You can view the full article here.