I was interested when I saw this topic for a PD. I am pretty active on Facebook, and do belong to a few groups that are very valuable for PD (National AP Environmental Science Teachers, Kesler Science Professional Learning Network). These are similar to the listservs that have existed for a long time, but there are even easier to access and faster.
However, I am not experienced on twitter. My district and department is beginning to utilize twitter. I haven’t really used twitter and didn’t really ‘get it’ so I wanted to use this to explore and better understand.
I took this opportunity to set up a twitter profile (@SciRochTL) and check out some of the hashtags that were mentioned here. I liked finding some new ideas, and some new contacts. I followed my school and my department, and a few of the other suggestions. I was particularly interested in some of the tweets related to blended learning and online courses, as that it my field at the moment, but not something we often have a chance to discuss outside of our department.
By clicking on a tag, or searching for a tag, I was able to uncover new ideas. I could see it being a resource. To me it was summed up in this quote.
Facebook = people you know, but don’t always want to know more about Twitter = people you don’t know, but want to get to know — Andy Sparks on Twitter
However, I was left with several questions. I hear of twitter ‘chats’ and I’m not sure what this is. I found this article that is pretty descriptive, but I still can’t quite picture it.
I also don’t see the advantage. I often hear that Twitter is a good starting point, and that is is better for professional resources than Facebook. However, Facebook has groups where files can be posted, questions can be posed to just that group, etc. Facebook also has the capability to save posts or links. I couldn’t find either of these capabilities in Twitter, and I am not sure that I see the advantage, but I’m willing to check it out further.
I was also having trouble completing this assignment and/or thinking about utilizing Twitter professionally since it is blocked at work. I could see it as a resource to learn about new methods and new classroom ideas, however.
I did look up using Twitter for professional development and found some resources, which I am including below. So I guess I answered my own question – I just need to go do it!