While more online conversation is happening, educators are sharing more and trying more things based on the recommendations from teachers around the world. Davis (2010) in her article “Social networking goes to school” references Steven Anderson, the well-known #Edchat co-creator, in regards to the use of Twitter as part of a Professional Learning Network. In the past, professional development was formal and rigid. You went to events scheduled by the district because this is what they think you need. With social networking allowing teachers to connect to one to one to many, teachers have the professional development they really desire on a daily, even hourly basis. The buzz and inspiration felt when going to the professional development seminar or conference, can be felt constantly online on Twitter. Questions posed at any part of the day can be answered by a variety of educators all offering a different perspectives and techniques.
This week I hosted a professional development workshop in School District 61 in Victoria BC. I had 30 teachers and EAs (educational assistants) watch how I function on Twitter. I introduced to them the value of saving lists and hashtags. instead of strictly following people on Twitter. The value to following and searching for topics is that the conversation become more personalized and focused. Here are a few hashtags that I feel could be useful for your personal learning network.
– Mr. Shortreed