If you can’t decide whether or not to give Twitter a go, here are some ideas to sway you. I’m pretty biased as I’m lucky enough to interact with thousands of teachers who find twitter invaluable – maybe one day you will too. If you’d like to learn more, you’ll find lots of useful information on my Twitter for Teachers page.
1. There’s a fantastic exchange of ideas
This has to be the number one reason for teachers to tweet. My timeline is constantly filled with fantastic links and ideas. A huge number of resources and relevant blog posts are shared every day and there are always plenty of interesting education based conversations to join in too.
2. It breaks down social barriers
One of the things I’ve found most refreshing about Twitter is how it puts everyone on the same level. You’ll regularly find a teaching assistant conversing with a head for example. Somehow, the nature of Twitter means that much of the hierarchy you’re used to in school simply doesn’t exist. Everyone is equal and all ideas are valuable. The teacher network on Twitter is a particularly friendly and giving network compared to some others I’ve encountered too. Here you will always be made to feel welcome and valued.
3. You can find the information you need fast
If you’re struggling with something, anything, Twitter can help you. Don’t understand the mark scheme for AQA GCSE maths? Ask on Twitter. Need advice managing behaviour at KS2? Ask on Twitter. Need a model lesson plan on The Romans? Ask on Twitter. You’d be amazed at how many people will try and help you – and if your immediate network can’t help, you’ll often find that your network will ask their network and before you know it someone will come up with the goods.
4. You can get input from all over the globe
Why confine the exchange of ideas to the teachers in your school’s staffroom? Twitter is like a global staffroom. Here you can brainstorm with teachers in theUSA,Australia,South Africa… just about anywhere you can think of. We have a huge amount to learn from each other and it’s often very exciting to hear how differently things are done across the globe and thinking about how to draw on the world’s best practice in your classroom.
5. It keeps you up to date
The world moves very fast but Twitter will usually mean that you’re bang up to date with what’s going on in your area of interest. Whatever is going on in education, someone will be tweeting or blogging about it. The interesting stuff tends to get retweeted so you shouldn’t miss it either.
6. You can ask all those silly questions
There are some things you just feel too daft to ask your colleagues, but on Twitter where you feel more anonymous it’s easier to open up and ask the silly questions. No one will laugh at you, and your pride remains intact.
7. It keeps you motivated
If ever you’re struggling through a pile of marking, or feeling despondent after a bad class, someone on Twitter will always be able to offer you (virtual) tea and sympathy. The ideas that people will come up with to help you through the tough times will often prove very motivating and make you keen to get the bit back between your teeth and give it another crack.
8. You can take part in free CPD
Twitter chat sessions such as ukedchat are a fantastic form of CPD. There are several different twitter chats, which are essentially hour long CPD sessions with a whole bunch of teachers sharing their ideas on a specific subject. You can gain a huge number of ideas through these sessions alone.
9. It’ll open doors
Twitter is a fantastic networking tool. You’ll be amazed at the people you meet and this can often lead to exciting opportunities to get involved with different projects or maybe to write guest blog posts or perhaps to partner you class with a class from another country. All sorts of doors can be opened via Twitter.
10. You’ll have thousands of mentors
By submersing yourself in Twitter’s education network you’ll be entering into a world where everybody wants to help you. Instead of the one or two (if you’re lucky) mentors you have at school, suddenly you’ll have access to thousands of mentors, all ready and willing to share their ideas and expertise. And you’ll end up mentoring other people too which is very rewarding.
It can seem a little daunting at first, but please do give Twitter a go. You’ll gain a huge amount from it. Read some of my Twitter for Teachers posts for some advice and if you’d like a helping hand when you get started tweet me @creativeedu.