This morning I opened my laptop and within seconds I was reading a thought-provoking blog post by one of the hundreds of educators I follow on Twitter. When I clicked on the link I didn't know whether it would be silly, serious, strange, or salient. But, because it was posted by someone in my circle of "friends" on twitter I clicked that link. And poof, I was transported to a learning portal.
When I finished reading the post I went to twitter and tweeted " I love the fact that I can open my laptop 365 days a year and learn things from people here on twitter." Within seconds a teacher friend from the Dallas area tweeted, " @cfanch i was just thinking the same thing." And, without leaving my home I could feel like I was sitting in a coffee house discussing the morning news with a friend.
These people are my friends, my co-workers, my peers, my professors, my students. They are all of these things separately and all of these things collectively. I can comment on a post and discuss a topic like I am talking with a co-worker about how we will use it in the classroom. Then, they can become a subject area expert and I am learning from them as though I am sitting in their classroom. Without blinking an eye a comment might spark a related topic in which I am the expert. Back and forth we go teacher becomes learner becomes teacher.
I have suggested that fellow teachers join me on twitter to no avail. Yes, there are about 20% of our teachers with a twitter account. But, I would say that less than half of them are active on twitter. And, I know of no one who uses it like I do: for personal and professional growth.
Maybe this coming year I can get 2 or 3 others to investigate twitter. Maybe this coming year I can get 1 or 2 to investigate the various "chats" that are so powerful for finding and sharing relevant items of interest. Maybe this coming year our staff can investigate topics that have been discussed on twitter and which improve what we already are doing in the classroom. Maybe....(sigh).. but I doubt it. I've been talking about this for over 4 years and most of them just shake their head and laugh. But, I refuse to give up. Maybe 2012 is THE year!