Whenever I talk to school leaders about Twitter, their initial response is usually something like, "Twitter? I don't have time for Twitter!"
Heck, one of my favorite Radical comments of all time expressed a similar skepticism with Twitter as a tool for educational leaders like this:
“If the principal has time to maintain Twitter or Facebook, then they have too damn much time on their hands.”
Here's the thing, though: Twitter can be a huge TIME SAVER for school leaders who use hashtags—short, unique identifiers added to the end of messages that make searching for content in Twitter easier—to search and learn.
When you start following hashtags that are connected to topics that you care about—professional learning communities, educational leadership, technology in education, standards-based assessment and reporting, educational policy—you instantly have access to resources and ideas that have been spotted by someone else and deemed valuable enough to share.
Essentially, following hashtags in Twitter allows you to find quality content quickly simply because someone else has already found the content FOR YOU!
Interested in learning more?
Then start by watching this Commoncraft tutorial which explains just how searching and sorting in Twitter happens:
And then, spend a few minutes poking through the content being shared in these Twitter hashtag conversations that often resonate with building principals:
#atplc — resources and ideas connected to structuring and supporting school-based PLCs.
#sbar — resources and ideas connected to standards based assessment and reporting.
#cpchat — resources and ideas connected to the work of building principals.
If you don't find something that is of real value to you in the first five minutes of searching, I'll be shocked.
You see, I poke through those hashtags a few times each day and ALWAYS walk away with something—a resource, a provocative idea, a person who I can network with later—of great value to my professional work.
Now, I'd HOPE that someday, you'd move beyond simply searching through the content shared by others and start sharing content yourself.
That's when Twitter becomes really powerful simply because you develop professional relationships that you can turn to with specific questions.
But AT LEAST start turning to Twitter first when you're looking for resources.
It will save you time and give you access to great minds all at once.
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