So it has been five days since I started using Twitter. Even though it is quite early in the game, I thought it would be good to share some of my initial feelings and discoveries.
To begin with, I have been amazed when someone follows me, especially when it is someone that follows me first, I have never met them, and they live far away! It is an affirming feeling. I had read several articles and blog posts over the past year or two talking about the importance of Twitter for educators, its' opportunity for learning and growth, and the power of a PLN. My experience these first few days indicate that those articles and blog posts I read were on the mark and not oversold one bit!
These past few days I have learned about one educators take on the reasons teachers are not using technology and the varied discussions around this post. I have read about the appalling class sizes allowed in the new Detroit schools contract. There was a great article about a research study that showed gains in understanding and standardized achievement in project-based classes in mathematics. These are just three of several articles I discovered through the use of links via Tweets, things you, (the collective you), wanted to share.
I have been a frequent web site and blog post reader but never had posted comments on anything. There is something about the Twitter experience of sharing that has already nudged me further. I have already posted comments on three different articles! I will try not to let the comment posting thing get out of hand as I do not want to be thought of as "that" guy.
But what I have liked just as much is the information discovered that was not solely education related. There was a neat flashmob video of Ode to Joy. There was the story about the Aaron's last wish $500 pizza tip which I learned about through Twitter links well before it was being carried on CNN.com. There were very nice personal pictures of the first rainfall from the summertime Arizona monsoon. (For me, weather pictures will never get old!). These are just a few of many rich examples of stories and connections that were shared and resonated with me, independent of education.
All of this was discovered by only following 30 Twitterers, (as my list is still small), and most of this information was not duplicated in what I thought was my pretty well rounded RSS reader feed. I will have to figure out how to set up lists and how to favorite things so I can organize my Twitter stream as my following list grows. And I should probably look into an app like Tweetdeck to help me organize things. Because I can tell that Twitter will be something important in my learning and growing as an educator and a person. My main problem will be figuring out how to time manage this new feature in my life. (and I have not even delved too much into the #mathchat Twitter feed yet!).
This is a bit corny but I want to say thanks to everyone for sharing so much. I hope to be able to return the favor by being interesting and sharing what I may come across too.