I'm the person at my school who is responsible for planning six hours of technology training for the certificated teachers in my building. This is not an easy task considering the fact that there are many different levels of technology capability. My one guiding principle is that I never want to waste their time. I want to give them practical ideas that they feel that they can immediately use in their teaching.
I'm taking a MOOC (Massive Online Open Source Course) this summer and I'm starting to see that this is the way that professional development should be. Teachers need to be willing to put in the effort to find something that targets what they are interested in or helps them with a deficit in their own teaching. Part of being in a MOOC is communicating with others and finding ways to be inspired by them.
Kim Gill gave a great presentation how how she uses Twitter in her classroom and also in her own professional development.
I'm debating about whether I take part of my six precious hours of technology training to introduce Twitter as a Professional Development tool to my staff. The pros are that they would become familiar with another social network that I don't think they give a great deal of credibility to. The con is that they may think that I'm wasting their time with something that they never plan on using.
IF I did decide to make it a part of our professional development time, here's some of the points that I would bring out...
1. Demonstrating my Twitter account, who I follow, my followers, the hash tags that I often search on.
2. I would talk about my experience tweeting during a conference and during sessions.
3. I would impress upon them the fact that I'm not following twitter every day but when I want to see what other teacher-librarians are thinking about, I search on the #tlchat hash tag or I see what the many teacher-librarians that I follow are tweeting about.
4. I would encourage them to try out creating a Twitter account and look at the #edchat hash tag.
5. I would encourage them to try out some of these other educational hash tags that Cybrary Man has collected.
6. I would also encourage them to think about the many large changes coming to our district including the Common Core and how these National initiatives require us to look outside of our district. The Common Core hash tag seems to be #ccchat.
If you comment on this message, let me know what you think? Would you feel good about spending some professional development time learning about Twitter?