Using Twitter

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I have been a user of twitter for almost 4 years now although initially I just started to test the waters, finding little use for twitter at the time.   Some months later a colleague got me back on twitter mainly due to the enthusiasm he displayed with regards the potential twitter had to help educators develop professionally.

I haven’t looked back since then with my involvement and use of twitter steadily increasing.   My new years resolutions for this year included the intention to build on a 2015 average of around 1.9 tweets per day.   My regular involvement in #sltchat, #mltchat plus involvement in #teacher5adaysketch, #29daysofwriting, #hacktheclassroom and #appsharelive sees me currently having posted around 370 times across Jan and Feb so far which amounts to over 7 tweets per day.   I will admit that Buffer is playing a keep part in this as it allows me to schedule my regular tweets.

The question is why I am finding twitter so useful?

My first answer to this lies in the list of events above.    Without twitter I would have never came across #appsharelive or #hacktheclassroom to name but two events.   The events are also not limited to online events.   I found out about the up and coming #tmbmth16 event in Bournemouth via Twitter.

A second answer would be access to resources and ideas.   Educators are regularly posting about apps or teaching and learning approaches which they have tried or are planning.    #appsharelive for example provided me a list of 5 or 6 new apps in each of its 3 sessions to date.

I also find twitter allows me to engage with other educators who may share similar or different viewpoints and beliefs with regards education.   As such this leads to questioning and discussion allowing for reflection.    Only the other day via #29daysofwriting a person who I would consider a colleague even although we have never me, questioned a sweeping statement I had made.    This made me question my views and the statement I had made, which in reality had been a little sweeping.    Next time I will try to be more careful.

My final benefit relates to the social aspect in that via twitter I have access to teachers and educational staff like myself who are engaged in trying to continually improve and to collaborate and share.    I consider them colleagues!   Events like #teacher5adaysketch serve to strengthen this bond, to provide support when I need it and encourage balance.

I continue to enjoy using twitter and look forward to continuing to share ideas and thoughts with you.

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Author: garyhenderson2014

Gary Henderson is currently the Director of IT in an Independent school in the UK. Prior to this he worked as the Head of Learning Technologies working with public and private schools across the Middle East. This includes leading the planning and development of IT within a number of new schools opening in the UAE. As a trained teacher with over 15 years working in education his experience includes UK state secondary schools, further education and higher education, as well as experience of various international schools teaching various curricula. This has led him to present at a number of educational conferences in the Middle East. In addition Gary is a Google and Microsoft Certified Educator.

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