So you either came across this article because some gave it to you, you found it on line or you found it through Twitter! Let's talk about the power of Twitter and what it can do for you professionally. If you are already using Twitter, great! You may read this and think, "Awesome, I'm doing all of this." Or you may have some ideas that I didn't write about, so please share those with us in the comments below. Mostly, I wrote this for teachers and other educators who either aren't using Twitter at all yet or are using it a little but haven't realized the potential.
Twitter, what have you done for me lately?
Gosh! So much!! I began using Twitter as a way to find support from others who are in the boat.
I searched for educators who also taught English Language Learners. I sought out educational organizations that support English Language Learners and I began following these people and organizations. I posed questions and sometimes commented on others posts. I began to form connections around the world with like-minded people! Little did I know, I was building a Professional Learning Network (PLN) that would help me grow over the years! Along the way and through these new friends and educational organizations, many new resources started to surface. People around the globe use different resources when working with ELLs. And learning from them brought new ideas to me! I started to read from authors I had not encountered before, new books came in my direction, various APPS were introduced that I could use with my students, etc. I was growing professionally without evening realizing it. And it was on my own time! When I had a few minutes to get on Twitter and check out some feeds that I liked, I would. Or I connected with some of my new friends and we shared ideas. Other times, I dedicated an hour to a Twitter Chat that I felt I would benefit from.
Soon, I was encouraged (through one of the chats) to begin a blog (yes, this one right here). It started out slow but once I got on a roll it has been an amazing experience for me. Blogging has really helped me to go deeper into my field. And I would not be doing it if it weren't for Twitter. The articles that I started to write even began to get some attention when I posted them on my Twitter feed! Yes, I was surprised too! I didn't think anyone would want to hear what I had to say. But low and behold, there is always someone out there who needs to hear what you have to say. This even lead to being asked to write some articles for other publications! And even to present information at conferences.
And all of this happened because of Twitter.
Where do I go from here?
My suggestion for those of you starting out is to begin by following a few people in your field of expertise. And RETWEET some of their posts when you like them. Look into popular hashtags related to your field.
If you are further along in your Twitter journey, start joining some Twitter Chats. They are a really easy way to build a PLN and learn from others who are like-minded.
Then try out a Twitter Chat of your own! This is one of my favorite things to do on Twitter. I've held a few of these myself and they are super easy to do. This is a great way to build your own leadership while fostering a community focused on a common theme.
A few tips for hosting your own Twitter Chat: