I’m going to be quite honest. I’ve been a part of the Twitter phenomenon since its birth. I had never been one to waste time with social media before. Honestly, I think I may have been the only human being my age who did not own a Facebook page. I’m not really sure why, I just had no interest. Then Twitter came along so I thought I’d try it out. I’d tweet once a week or so, mostly about the weather, or my lack of sleep, or even sharing my blessings. Twitter was usually just something to keep me occupied while on long trips, in between study sessions, or in a large crowd where I buried myself in my phone just to seem invisible to others. I enjoyed following my favorite TV shows, receiving game updates on the St. Louis Cardinals, and keeping up with the Kardashians and other intriguing celebrities.
As I began my specialized undergrad courses and started focusing my time more on bettering myself as an educator, I began following different educational Twitter pages, Ed Week, Brain Pop, Scholastic, and so on. Every once in a while I would break from my timeline full of the latest celebrity gossip and sports happenings to read up on a somewhat appealing educational article. This continued, only more often. I was reading and following more Twitter posts and pages that pertained to my career and less of that garb that just wasted time with little to no educational value at all. I felt like I was really bettering myself as an educator, but little did I know that that was barely scratching the surface of Twitter possibilities.
Three weeks in to CEP 810: Teaching for Understanding, we were asked to create a Twitter profile. I took this opportunity to create a whole new Twitter profile, one devoted specifically to educational tools, a network of educators, and the best practices for benefiting my pedagogy and my students’ success. Not only is this building my Professional Learning Network, but I’m also able to share things that I’m doing in the classroom with my followers too. My tweets and Twitter experience as a whole are more directed and focused toward contributing to the educational world while also gaining insight from others.
With my newly found focus, I have been exposed to innovative ways Twitter can be used in my classroom and for personal professional growth, of which has already been occurring on a daily basis.
Until CEP 810, I had never been exposed to Really Simple Syndication (RSS) either. Organizing information with more of a focus toward topics I am interested in and information that can be of assistance to my professional growth. The overwhelming wealth of information and resources on the Internet is now filtered by my RSS aggregator, Feedly. This resource is undoubtedly advantageous to me as an educator because, as we all know, the time teachers have is valuable. This tool saves time, filters information more effectively, and exposes more educator specific personalized information. I now find myself catching up on my RSS aggregator, rather than sifting through countless articles and Internet resources, allowing for more time for lesson planning, grading, and hobbies outside of the world of education.
I am truly grateful for the exposure that CEP 810 has already given me regarding new tech tools, the expansion of my PLN, and usable, relevant, and applicable assignments that promote professional growth.