EdTech 543: Twitter for Professional Development

MODULE 3 Assignment:  Set Up and Follow Twitter Chats with Hashtags

Tweet out your chosen hashtags using #EdTechSN wink  Post a screenshot on Facebook of your Twitter client with the at least five “hashtagged” columns (not including #EdTechSN). As a blog post, include a summary of what hashtags you follow; three new things, resources, ideas you learned by following them; and your thoughts about about using Twitter as a form of just-in-time professional development. Post a link to your blog in our Facebook page and in the corresponding grading “dropbox.”

tweetdeck 2

Twitter is an exciting and new experience for me, both personally and professionally.  I just started using it this summer for another EdTech course.  I am still trying to figure out how I can really use it as a teacher with my students but the professional development rewards I can immediately see.  I have been inspired by the plethora of resources and ideas I find.  I can’t wait to check my account and see what’s there.  I have been able to connect with people from all over the world and share ideas.

The hashtags I chose to follow are:

#PLN Which stands for Personal Learning Network.  I think this is a very important to me to develop my own network.  Since I own my own business sometimes it feels like I’m completely alone.  Working on my masters in Educational Technology from BSU has provided me with the opportunity to really connect, professionally, with other educators with similar backgrounds and interests.  By following this hashtag it expanded my knowledge of what a PLN can really be.

This week, through the #PLN I discovered a great blog post by Tina Bloom on Organizational Skills.  Tina makes the connection between Common Core and the need for strong organizational skills early in the year, “Creating a context for teaching organizational skills in math starts with the way your classroom is arranged”.  She goes on to list some of the best apps available to assist teachers and students with their organization.  Although her list is developed for elementary math, it really inspired me to look for apps to help my high school students improve their organization.

 

#HeftyMath  This is an “original” hashtag that I created with my students.  Actually, it was their idea!  I’m really excited to see how this works.  The idea is that I can tweet out important information to them on a regular basis and they know, by the hashtag, that the information is intended for them.

twubs

This idea of creating an original hashtag lead me to Twubs.  “Twubs, the 5-year-old hashtag platform that aggregates tweets, pics and videos into a branded page, has debuted a free, Twitter API-compliant chat tool”.  I am hoping this will help me be able to set up my own live Twitter chat with my students!

#Mathematics  This was an obvious one for me to follow.   I have taught math for 23 years and I love the topic.  This hashtag provides a lot of reviews of a wide variety of math books … from supporting or tutorial texts to actual text books.  This tag has a large following from around the world.  I found contributors from the US to Asia to the Middle East and every place in between.

Although I enjoy reading the analysis of text books what I really enjoyed was the sharing of ideas from other math teachers.  I found a great project idea from Dan Meyer: The Money Animal Marketplace Was The Most Fun I Had Doing Math This Summer

#edtech This hashtag is great because it literally seems to cover everything related to educational technology.  EdTech Review shared a post by Tara Heath, “From Tweeting to Teaching: How You Can Use Twitter As Powerful Resource In Your Classroom“.  This is a perfect example of “Twitter as a form of just-in-time professional development”.  I have been struggling with how I can actually use Twitter in my unique “classroom”.  After my students came up with the idea of creating our own unique hashtag (#HeftyMath) now what?  What could I possibly Tweet about with students?  Ms. Heath’s article very clearly laid out what I could do.  These are the suggestions I have been able to immediately put into place:

Tweet reminders and update assignments. Twitter can keep everyone in the loop and work on track. A simple reminder may save the hassle of grading late papers or tracking down forgotten permission slips.

Coordinate assignments and group activities in one place. Allow students to use Twitter to organize work and communicate with assigned groups in one place. This empowers the students and allows them to use social media in a controlled environment where everyone is included.

Promote parental and school involvement. Tweets from the classroom let parents know what you are learning. This encourages a relationship that extends beyond the twice a year parent conferences.

During lectures, use tweets to pool students questions. Avoid interruptions and let your students’ voices be heard simultaneously with Twitter. During instruction, allow them to Tweet questions. You will see questions pooling on your computer screen and be able to address them as you go – without getting off topic!

Twitter can raise awareness of social media’s impact by tracking hashtags. Your class can keep on top of news stories or events by sorting hashtags. Remember when we had to cut newspaper clippings? Twitter is efficient and keeps students updated on real world events.Get real time updates from professional networks. Twitter is a great way for you to stay on top of professional development opportunities.  You will garner new ideas, fresh concepts, and resources to use in the classroom.

The coolest thing I discovered this week by following #EdTechSN is the Tweet Wrap.  A Tweet Wrap is a, “collection of inspiring, informative, useful, or just plain fun tweets about education and instructional technology articles, resources, etc.”.  I love this!  I like to have my resources immediately available.  The Tweet Deck is nice and you can see everything at one time but I really like the idea of creating a blog page where you can collect your favorite Tweets.  Kelly Walsh of Emerging EdTech has put together her favorite educational Tweets for the Week of September 15.  I like the idea of organizing your favorite Tweets weekly!https://twitter.com/KimberlyHefty/status/513727130383826944

References/Resources:

“Education and Instructional Technology Tweet Wrap for the Week of 09-15-14” by Kelly Walsh September 20, 2014 retrieved from http://www.emergingedtech.com/2014/09/education-and-instructional-technology-tweet-wrap-for-the-week-of-09-15-14/

“From Tweeting to Teaching: How You Can Use Twitter As Powerful Resource In Your Classroom” by Tara Heath August 29, 2014 retrieved from http://edtechreview.in/trends-insights/insights/1469-from-tweeting-to-teaching-how-you-can-use-twitter-as-a-powerful-resource-in-your-classroom#.VB8R71F_HAs.twitter

“The Money Animal Marketplace Was the Most Fun I Had Doing Math This Summer” by Dan Meyer September 11, 2014 retrieved from http://blog.mrmeyer.com/2014/the-money-animal-marketplace-was-the-most-fun-i-had-doing-math-this-summer/

“Organizational Skills” by Tina Bloom September 16, 2014 retrieved from http://powerupwhatworks.org/blog/organizational-skills

“Strategies for Managing Online Discussions” by Rob Kelly September 18, 2014 retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/strategies-managing-online-discussions/

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