A Connected Educator Should Run Twitter

This recent article on caught my eye about the CEO of Twitter – Twitter’s CEO is stepping down. Here’s why the company’s in trouble.

It was an interesting read about popular social media site. I was drawn to it because Twitter makes me think of connected educators and our learning experiences. Twitter is how many of us connected and its the reason many of us are the educators we are today. Everyone who has taken the dive to be connected educators, via Twitter, is better for it.

twitter-cognitive-spectrumThe article outlines industry critiques about Twitter – which is ironically the same issue we have in other industries like education, such as the lack of ability to innovate like similar products/companies. I haven’t done deep research on this topic so I can’t speak to the market research given here, but when you read the points of how other social media platforms have adopted to users needs and preferences and the essential components of Twitter have remained the same, you have to give some validity to the concerns about the static timeline, design layout for ‘power users’ and of the other features.

After reading it, I was a little saddened because Twitter was the tool that helped improve my thinking and practice as an educator. We still work hard to get other educators to connect on Twitter and grow their practice. What if some small changes on the front end would help beginners/new users see the value and dive deeper into its potential? Naturally, as an educator, I’m thinking of the education field and what can be done. I can’t say if other fields are diving into chats and professional development explorations like we are but what better group to help others realize that potential. So I made the rational leap – a connected educator should head up Twitter!

I think if that happened, we would see several immediate, powerful changes:

  • Rebranding – We would see a serious effort to rebrand Twitter and highlight lots of the features educator have come to value. The picture to the right is what you see when you log into Twitter – if you are a connected educator think of all the things you do right now that are above and beyond what’s described in this tagline. There is great opportunity here to showcase and highlight some great potential from the onset!
  • Bring back Tweetdeck, FULLY! I thought its was a great move when Twitter acquired Tweetdeck. There weren’t a lot of Twitter-client options then but it was a powerhouse, offering connections and links to different social media. To me, the greatest feature was the mobile app – awesomeness at its best! I have never stopped using Tweetdeck for my chats since I first logged on Twitter but I so use other clients for other features because of limited mobility options. When we bring new educators to Twitter, one of the eventual conversations that comes up is using a client like Tweetdeck. Here’s a chance to revamp, enhance and relaunch. Make it a go-to reference.
  • Do a better job of recommending/helping us select new people to follow! There is so much more potential here than the 3-5 mini-bios we see at the top left of the screen. Show me some hashtags/chats I may want to follow; get with Jerry Blumengarten, @cybraryman1, and start an index of the popular chats across different industries.
  • Do some internal product promotion on how to utilize Twitter as a tool for lifelong learning, professional development and personal growth! Incredible opportunity here!

I’m sure we will see a talented individual take the helm and do great things. A connected educator would bring a great perspective to a potential new evolution of Twitter.

Its About Learning AND Sharing

A recent Twitter post inspired a great exchange between me Jennifer Marten,@jenmarten. I wanted to share this conversation because it epitomizes what effective educators are about. Effective educators should be about learning new information that will make a difference in their schools or classrooms and making sure that students in classrooms reap benefits as well. That’s the essence of a PLN – helping other educators help their students.





Thanks Jennifer for this great conversation!

Take a moment to reflect on what your PLN means to you or better yet, what you want your PLN to do for you! Now’s the time to engage with the difference makers who will help the learning in your classroom! We are all committed to growing students!

Weekly Bookmarks from @mccoyderek


There are some of the impactful articles I’ve tweeted and saved to to my Diigo account. Hopefully these reshares will be of benefit to you and your practice.

Good solid strategies to share

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Weekly Bookmarks from @mccoyderek (weekly)

Great standout resources this week on blended learning, BYOD, and Twitter resources!pearson-literacy-teacher-infographic-close-reading--final-1-7-13

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Skyping In – #GRESA Conference

images   Last week, I had the great opportunity to Skype into the conference with a good friend of mine from Georgia. Rod Smith, @IAmRodSmith, is the Director of Technology and Communications for Griffin-Spalding Schools. I contacted him earlier to get his help with an iPad technical issue [he is an iPad guru]. We arranged for me to Skype into his session for school leaders using social media for their own growth and for connecting with their stakeholders.

A main goal was for this group to hear from a current school administrator who using social media. We previously discussed the sharing on the following points:

  • The right tools make the difference – Tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck make the difference, whether its scheduling tweets, organizing information, participating in chats or any number other features
  • Connecting with stakeholders – I created this information sheet [Stay Informed@SLMS] at my last school and modified to fit my current district’s social media policies. I attribute this sheet to Communicating and Connecting with Social Media
  • My changed perspective – I am a different educator today than when I first joined Twitter and began diving into social media four years ago. This journey is about lifelong learning and shifting paradigms
  • Participating in chats – I spoke to the group about my active participation/facilitation in two chats:
    • #edfocus – This began as a book study chat and has evolved to include an implementation portion. The main facilitators include @mrbernia and @normandin
    • #ncadmin was started with fellow NC administrator @CSmithGoBlue. We want a forum to keep NC administrators current on new trends but are very fortunate to be joined by administrators across our nation.
    • I encouraged all school leaders present in the session to either join an existing chat or create one specific for their circle and growth

This was a great experience! I’m thankful for the opportunity to share some impactful experiences I’ve had that could help others benefit from diving into social media. We should all can do what we can to help other educators change their perspectives on what 21st century professional development and growth means.