Why I use Twitter…

I decided to start my blog up again and thought I’d write as a few brief notes about how and why I use Twitter as both a professional development tool, and also as a way of helping students in general develop.

Professional development doesn’t have to be about be, though may be doing a long course, whether at MA level or such. At the moment, for me however, I find the best kind of professional development for me is simply in finding out short, sharp pieces of information that can get me thinking, or finding out about new sites that I think will benefit my students.

Using HootSuite I can keep an eye on several streams and hash tags (e.g. #edtech#edleaders#ukedchat etc) as well as my own tweets and a general home stream of anything someone I follow posts.

Custom newspapers are out now (e.g. International Educators by @amichetti, or The uk-ict-education Daily by @kamyousaf). There are also some fantastic blogs, such as Clerestory Learning by @kdwashburnFree Technology for Teachers by @rmbyrneheadguruteacher by @headguruteacher or ICT in Education by @terryfreedman to name but a very, very, very small few.

And that’s the problem most of the time is that there is just so, so much information and great things out there that I simply don’t have the time to read/track/follow/digest it all.  Which is why I use twitter. It help me by aggregating all the information and as a starting point in the trek across the internet to seek out useful ideas/knowledge/facts/guidance that I can use to benefit myself or others. The retweet facility allows for me to see a tweet, click on the link, and if useful post it again, with the original sender’s username, as a way of saying “thank you, I found that useful”.

As a few examples of what passed me by in the last couple of days that I then retweeted:

RT @mattbritland: A Guide to Delivering Creative Computing Lessons  Presentation):wp.me/p1nThD-vC
RT @justintarte: A nice graphic on the relationship between learning and the brain:goo.gl/PQ9zBc #edchat #ukedchat
RT @iSchoolLeader: RT @mashabletech: Windows 8.1 Available Now flip.it/vxEAA
RT @TheConsultantsE: Future present bit.ly/19b1GLk #elearning #edtech
RT @Larryferlazzo: How Can We Help Students Develop A Desire To Read At Home? ow.ly/pVhYq via @EdWeekTeacher #edchat
RT @GCAFCofficial: Please vote for Tigers hat trick hero @jooeeparker for FA Cup player of the round! ow.ly/pXCMN #gcafc

There are also some things I come across, not via Twitter, work or personal related that I think are worth others knowing about so I tweet them. In the last few days, for example, these came my way:

RSC – Online Experimentation – #GlobalExperiment around Vit C ow.ly/pXB7x for 7-16 yr olds #ukedchat
Tesla and the Lamplighter – kickstarter (ow.ly/pWjNm) – teslashortfilm.com – pls support and RT #belgrade
3 hard education questions Ken Robinson says need to be answered [Educause 2013] ow.ly/pUDxn #edchat #edleaders #ukedchat

Any way, if you are using Twitter, great, I hope you find it as useful as I do for that first quick scan of what is going on, that can then develop into further reading of those things that catch your eye. If I’m following your posts, please keep then coming, and if you are following me, use if useful, disregard if not.

Well that’s my first blog post for a while, a few more words that Yvo’s excellent daily 100 word blog, but such is life.

Oh, my twitter username is @nahowie

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