PD with urgency: Engage in Twitter chats [3]

The Conversation

Rich Evans, HR director at BBHCSD, stopped in my computer lab this morning before I took off to teach a class about Google Docs.  As he walked in he said.

Rich:  Do you ever sleep?

Me:  Sometimes.

Rich:  No, I’m serious.  Do you ever sleep?

Me:  I try to.  Why?

Rich:  Because I follow you on Twitter and you are always posting something.

Me:  I try to do that a lot because it is the best PD experience I have.  I get to connect with many people in a short amount of time and I get really great ideas.

Best PD Experience

Good PD experiences are hard to come by and great ones are nearly non-existent.  The BEST PD experience I have to date are the chats I engage in on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Tuesdays #edchat has put me in contact with people around the world exchanging ideas about topic for the evening.  One of the best things about #edchat is that my thinking is pushed and pushed hard. Not only do I see how other people are thinking, but my ideas are challenged causing me to defend what I believe. This may sound confrontational but I find it stimulating to think in new ways.  These new ways of thinking do not just creep into my teaching, the blast their way in because as soon as I think and engage in the conversation, I immediately reflect on my practice.  As a 21st Century Skill, reflecting allows me to make accurate and valid decisions for myself about my own teaching causing reform.  What is better is the shift, or transformation, that takes place within me that shapes my teacher reasoning, perception, problem solving, and decision making.  Participating in #edchat gives me a PD experience that cannot have with real people in the profession.

Another chat I having just started participating in is #techcoach specific to technology integration specialists or others interested in this.  I have the same experience in this chat as I do the other – my teaching is improved with the people I interact with.

Why should Twitter be an urgent PD experience for you?  Answer these questions for yourself.  How many times during a year do you get the chance to get out and have quality PD?  Of the experiences you have had, how many have been great?  When do you get a chance to really talk about education?  How often are your own teaching practices changed as a result of PD?

How has your teaching practice changed as a result of Twitter?