Day 132: My Twitter Trembles
Guess what?! An old dog CAN learn new tricks! I’ve been teaching way north of 30 years, but I’ve always prided myself about keeping current, especially with technology. Yet I have to say, these last 5 years, with social media and phone apps seemingly taking over our lives, I’ve begun to feel like I’m missing out on connecting with this new generation of teachers, and students. I do not have a Facebook account (but lurk behind my hubby’s account – aren’t I pathetic?!), but I did start a Pinterest account about two years ago (at the urging of another teacher friend) and really love the anonymity and ease of access.
But, try as I might to understand and use Twitter as a PD source and to connect with educators around the globe for the last two years, I’ve felt my age. While at the TI 2013 conference, I attended a PD that encouraged us to sign up for Twitter and gave us the basics (and I mean basics). Since then, I just couldn’t seem to understand how to follow conversations and was deathly afraid to post. I didn’t even know what some of the abbreviations (like DM and #stuff) meant. I’d even attended the Twitter for New Users meeting groups at various conferences. Once again, I was a lurker on Twitter, a wall flower watching everyone else seeming to have a great time.
So I decided late last year that I really wanted (needed) to figure Twitter out. I connected with our Technology TOSA, pleading with him to help me get into the Twitter world. He has really helped me get a sense of what is going on without making me feel my age. I pinned a lot of sites about using Twitter in the Classroom/School in Pinterest to at least get more familiar with the lingo (and this helped me understand how not having the right words can be a barrier to access). I practiced at a conference posting and such. Still had trouble following conversations or finding posts I wanted to see again, but my Tech TOSA hung in there with me.
This year I posted photos of sessions I attended at our regional conference, learned how to hashtag (although I’m still learning to attach the #name to the conversation). And I actually joined my first chat group called #Statschat. Because of this risk-taking, I’m connecting with people who write impressive blogs (that I’ve followed for years). When I was having trouble with one of the Geogebra pages I wanted to use with my kiddos, I contacted the original author @giohio via Twitter and he had it fixed within an afternoon. This evening I’ve been collaborating with another AP Stats teacher about a great graphic he’s putting together to connect hypothesis tests with the sampling/experimental method. It has been a kick. And I’m glad I stayed tenacious about learning this new medium for collaboration.
What risks have you taken this year to improve or grow your professional life?