Twitter.com It is great to feel connected to the rest of the world! I feel excited to know that I am a part of a network where the latest technology is being shared and a wealth of educational information is posted, and it all happens in a 140 character tweet!
I began taking time to read Twitter bio's in order to find other educators who I could learn from, but I soon realized that there are people who are educators who don't have teaching degrees. I follow people who travel the world and tweet about their experiences, as links to authentic photos are shared. From a writing teachers perspective, writing prompts are born and pictures can tell a story all on their own. What a great idea to use as a critical and creative thinking/writing activity. The students could analyze the image captured and headlines or captions could support their interpretations.
I also follow someone who posts daily quotes. These quotes could be used as a reference when needing to grab a reader's attention in an essay! Better yet, they can be analyzed for meaning and students can determine how it applies to their own life.
Not only do I get writing ideas, but I also learn about the latest news. Someone sent out a tweet that was about the HMS Victory wreck being found and with it came a direct link to the site. The Los Angeles Times quoted, "American salvagers say they have discovered the long-sought wreck of HMS Victory, the mightiest and most technologically advanced warship of its time, which sank during a violent storm in the English Channel in 1744." This is historical news at our fingertips and a great way to bring current events into the classroom for discussion about what was happening during the time of the Colonial Wars.
Through Twitter, I have learned about the latest technology tools that I can take and creatively gear toward an English or writing skill. The tech tools can serve so many purposes and can be applied to almost any skill that is being taught. It can be a bit overwhelming because of all that is available, so I need to remind myself that I should really learn the use of one tool before moving on to another.
One thing that I don't want to forget to mention is the importance of giving back. I always make sure that I am doing my share of research outside of twitter and contributing just as much, if not more, than what I am taking.