Friday, April 25, 2014

Goodbye Twitter?

I was disgruntled with Twitter. I was ready to walk away from it all!  No more tweets, no more little blue bird taking up residence on my home screen.  It wasn't working for me, and I felt it was the time for me to leave.  Sure, occasionally I would find some great resource, or hear a quote that moved me.  But, it wasn't enough. It was decision time, should I stay or go?

As I thought about my decision, debating the pros and cons, all I kept hearing in my head was people extolling the virtues of Twitter and how it had revolutionized their teaching and learning.  It really made me think, if it has this superpower for others, why was I questioning it?  What was I missing?  Clearly, I was doing something wrong, or not doing something right.  But, what was it?  I needed to figure it out.

So, I decided to stick it out with Twitter.  I gave myself one month to see if I changed my mind.  I also decided that I needed to make some changes to my Twitter-self.

Here's what I did...

Go Both Ways
Before this experiment, I only read what others were posting.  I rarely tweeted anything out, and if I did it was to ask for something.  I never received a response, which only furthered my frustration with Twitter.

After my Twitter rebirth, I became more active on Twitter.  I started retweeting great ideas from others, commenting on what others tweeted, and just turning Twitter into a two-way street of communication.

Joined in the Conversations
Up until a month ago, I had only participated in a few #byotchats.  My participation in that chat was due to the fact that I knew, and respected, one of the moderators of the chat.  Other than that, I did not participate in any chats, mostly because I didn't see a great benefit from my participation.

During the month of April, I made a point to regularly join Twitter chats.  I even went so far as to put them on my Outlook calendar.  I searched for chats, using the Weekly Twitter Chat schedule on Cybraryman's website.  I participated in so many, here's a partial list:
Some of these chats were better than others, to be honest!  But, what I found when I joined these   chats was a plethora of expertise!  These chats opened my eyes to new perspectives, fabulous resources, and connections with so many talented educators around the world that I can't imagine what I did before I started participating in chats.

The Findings
So, what did I find?  I found that my disgruntled feelings with Twitter were misplaced.  The lack of professional growth on my part from Twitter were a direct result of how I was interacting via Twitter.  

Since I instituted these two simple changes, I have been amazed at the results.  I have made connections with numerous educators around the world.  I have had my own thoughts questioned, causing me to re-examine them, and either solidifying my thoughts or resulting in a shift in my thinking.  I have heard different perspectives on many topics of great importance, perspectives that I would not have been exposed to would I have walked away from Twitter.  I have engaged in thoughtful discussions with other passionate educators about the current state of education, and how we can act to make improvements from a grassroots level.

In essence, as I write this, I am proud of my decision to not walk away from Twitter.  That, by taking these two simple steps, I have been able to grow my own PLN, and expand my wealth of resources available to me as I continue to grow.  For this, I am thankful, and hope others can find similar benefits from Twitter!

No comments:

Post a Comment