Two years ago I held the belief that Twitter was a waste of time and only useful for celebrities and teenagers who wanted to let everybody know about their latest meal or the entertaining scene they witnessed at the mall. However, I am now a strong supporter of Twitter as a professional development tool. I get many new ideas from the network I have developed on Twitter. Also, if I ever have a question about an EdTech tool or idea, there is an enormous community of educators who are ready and willing to help.
Yesterday was a great example of just how easy Twitter is to use and how it can improve our school. I found an activity called Mystery Skype that I want to try with our elementary teachers and their classes. The basic idea of a Mystery Skype is connecting with another class somewhere in the world and through self-directed inquiry (with teachers standing by to assist), the students need to identify the mystery location of the class they are talking to. Earlier this week I presented the idea to some elementary teachers and the initial reaction was positive. However, I am always looking to improve and thought about ways I could improve the introduction of the topic before I present it to the teachers at another elementary building. Then it hit me. Why not try to contact somebody who has done this before and Skype with them during my presentation so my coworkers could discuss the topic with an experienced Mystery Skype participant? So I sent a quick tweet to Craig Badura (@mrbadura) who is a great educator and EdTech Integrationist. Within minutes, he accepted the invitation and will be talking to our group next Tuesday. It is an exciting opportunity and is just one more step in the right direction.
If you are not on Twitter, I would suggest you look into it. As I said, I was once a skeptic, but now I am a strong believer in Twitter's ability to improve education. If you have a Twitter success story to share, please do so in the comments below.