Distance Learning: Twitter Offers Remote Professional Development
by Lauren Heimlich Foley @lheimlichfoley
Twitter is the best distance learning for teachers!
I resisted Twitter for a long time. Despite what my friends, colleagues, and mentors said, I was not interested in joining another social media. Facebook was enough for me—or so I thought.
In teacher circles, I started to hear Twitter mentioned as a place for online professional development as well as professional networking. Chats, live videos, and events offered online spaces for people to join academic conversations and talk with like-minded individuals. Next came people asking for my Twitter handle. When I said I wasn’t on yet, people were shocked.
Then, for Dr. Famiglietti’s class, Composing in the Attention Economy, joining social media became a requirement. By spring 2020, I felt ready to tackle the Twitter adventure and signed myself up. I began following colleagues, teacher-researchers, and authors. I cultivated my own online professional development community. However, from March to May, I only checked Twitter a few times, and I posted nothing for fear of making a Twitter faux pas.
Once school ended, I decided that summer 2020 would be the season of Twitter. Like any new writing genre, I started to notice people’s tweets and used these posts as mentor texts. I also followed more people and organizations. The amount of information and new ideas surprised me; I had no idea what I had been missing out on.
June 27th marked the date of my first tweet. Since Saturday, I found exciting professional development opportunities and book release information. Here are my top 3 finds:
- @nErDCampNJ1 tweeted author panel links.
- @ncte shared that Jason Reynold’s Long Way Down will be a graphic novel.
- @somaiyadaud posted the release of her 2nd book—Court of Lions— which is available August 4, 2020. I have been waiting 2 years for this! Read Mirage first; it is book 1 in the series.
In just 3 days, I have realized that Twitter is the best distance learning for teachers. I am so very excited to be joining the Twitter universe. If you are not on yet, definitely sign up!