Twitter – confirm, reassure, challenge, enlighten

I met with an educational focus group this week and part of our discussion centred around the use of social media as a professional development tool.   The group was split over the importance of such approaches with some advocating strongly the need to engage and others vehemently opposed to its use.   As a keen and  committed tweeter I thought about how I benefit from twitter.   How it has become an indispensable learning tool and constant source of relevant CDP.

Confirm – Instantly ‘check’ you’re on the right lines.   As a primary headteacher I find twitter a great way to very quickly found out how others have dealt with a certain problem, idea or initiative.   What we their experiences?   How did they overcome difficulties?   Twitter helps me confirm I’m going about things in the right way.   It reassures me that I’m not alone in dealing with a new situation.

Twitter also provides challenge and stimulates discussion.   It is a fantastic way to get involved in professional dialogue with equally passionate educators.  Edchat, ukedchat and numerous other forums provide platforms for discussion around topical issues and there are also those individual lines of thought that can be followed up with others anytime, anywhere.   Twitter is an opportunity to test your thoughts and ideas in a critically supportive, encouraging and honest environment.

Importantly, twitter also enlightens me.   There are so many people happy to share new ideas, innovations and practices that they’ve discovered, trialled and used successfully in their own practice that every visit to twitter reveals something to follow up and learn from.

Twitter has become a part of my professional kit bag, it is for me, the educators’ online companion, connecting me to a world of support, challenge and innovation.



About smichael920

Headteacher of a large primary school in North West England. Helping me to blur the distinction between work and home, I am also father of five, covering most phases of education thus giving me the lowdown from within and without. Education is about enjoying today and preparing for tomorrow. This can't be done using the tools of the past. View all posts by smichael920

2 responses to “Twitter – confirm, reassure, challenge, enlighten

  • Mrs Skinner

    Excellent post that has made me think about my use of twitter. Lots of schools still see it as a threat though don’t they?

    • smichael920

      Thanks for the feedback Julia. I see the use of twitter growing in schools which can only be a good thing. One or two of our staff have complained that they feel it is all one way and they aren’t getting responses and feedback. I’ve directed them to ukechat to find conversation but ultimately it takes time to build up your PLN and that’s when you really begin to see the value.

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