We all yearn to learn something different. That’s what makes us unique. That’s what leads to great discoveries. Many people, at a very young age start to develop passions and interests. They become curious and want to learn more, but many times they aren’t given the chance to explore those interests. We realize the importance of letting our students have choice and control of their learning. As we get older this same idea should be applied to professional development. Why can’t teachers get lost in their passion or interest as it relates to their profession? Why can’t teachers decide how, what and where they learn? This all leads to giving students and teachers choice.
How does this have anything to do with Twitter? Twitter allows for choice. It is the perfect place to start for professional development. You can seek out and find those that want to learn the same thing as you. Once you find those people through a hashtag or Twitter chat you instantly have a group of professionals that add to your learning and growth. You can also stretch your mind and challenge your own thoughts by following people or hashtags that may have a different point of view.
“One of the single most powerful ways educators connect with others is by participating in Twitter chats. Twitter chats are a pre-arranged online discussion about a specific topic that anyone can join.” ~What Connected Educators Do Differently
One of my favorite hashtags as a business teacher was #busedu. It was started by a group of business teachers in the state of Nebraska and has grown a great deal in the last few years. Their chats, held the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of every month, provided me with a group of professionals, teaching the same content, that could offer ideas and support at any time. This was a very powerful form of professional development.
Giving students and teachers choice in how and what they learn will lead to better results. You will have inspired individuals honing in on their passions and working on their craft. This provides that internal motivation that is sometimes lacking in schools today. Then, they become experts on these topics and can share that expertise by teaching others. An inspired teacher rubs off on students. You can feel their passion as they share and teach.
Twitter gives you choice, so take the opportunity to build on your passions/interests and take control of your own learning. Don’t be locked into learning something you have to….learn something you want to. Seek out hashtags and chats on Twitter that speak to you. Make it a goal to join in on a new chat this month. You never know what you might learn by choosing what and how you learn.