Thursday, January 24, 2013

Twitter Connects and Expands - I've Got Proof!

I have been reflecting on how Twitter has changed the way I view professional development, professional connections, and learning in general.  This past Wednesday evening, I was able to truly feel the power of what Social Media has done to expand my professional horizons and open the doors to so many learning possibilities.  I participated in a Twitter chat (#BCCchat) with fellow learners from Australia.  Toward the end of the chat I posted this:

When I think about how I came to be a part of this chat, it really does seem unlikely that I would have imagined it a year ago.  Here is how it happened.

1.  On Saturday January 19th I participated in #satchat and someone mentioned Will Richardson's book, Why School?

2.  I was intrigued by the premise of the book, so I downloaded it and read it after the chat.

3.  After reading it, I wrote a blog post about it.

4. Soon after tweeting the post, I received a tweet from Melanie Spencer inviting me to join in a Twitter chat with the staff of Brindabella Christian College, Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory.  She gave the book to the staff and they were having a twitter chat about it on Thursday, January 24th in the morning (Australian time).

5.  She and I sent a few tweets back and forth verifying the time of the chat in New Jersey.  Then, Will Richardson tweeted saying that he would try to make it to the chat.

6. Wednesday evening arrived in NJ and I logged onto the chat.  As we discussed the book and reflected upon some great questions, Will Richardson chimed in and took part in some of the discussion.

7.  After the chat, I followed some wonderful educators from another side of the world.

Twitter has truly made professional development a global activity.  In the first post that I wrote on this blog, I talked about connections.  One of the points that I made was that when you only interact with those in your school or district you run the risk of homogenization of ideas.  I can't think of a better way to ensure that you are exploring new ideas and looking at things in different ways than to interact with educators from around the world in all different types of schools and settings.

I would like to thank Melanie and all of the new members of my PLN from Canberra.  I am thrilled to be learning with you moving forward.  I would also like to thank Will Richardson for being a part of the discussion.  "In the old days" I would never have imagined the author of a book I was discussing just deciding to participate in the discussion; however, Twitter has made this a reality.

Like I said, Twitter connects and expands; I've got proof!  How has it helped to expand your professional learning network?
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