Sunday, March 17, 2013

What’s Your Twitterosophy? - Guest Blog

This weeks blog, even though a little late, comes from Cynthia Stogdill.  She is the Librarian and Technology Integration Specialist at Lakeview Community Schools.

“Given a limit of 140 characters, people consistently reaffirm that creativity is a renewable resource.”  - @biz

First off, a huge shout out and thank you to Otis Pierce, @odiep77 and #rockstar, for inviting me to guest blog on the ESU7 Tech Blog. I did my little happy dance when he invited me to share some of my thoughts with all of you. I am truly honored and humbled.

Professional development seems to be one of the big topics of discussion in education.  It’s kicked around at the lunch table, conference room table, and board meeting table in terms of budget and time.  Admittedly, while attending conferences and workshops is an incredible way to recharge and inspire ourselves for our students, the cost of travel and time away from our students is also a consideration. Additionally, the glow of inspiration often fades as we get back into the school routine. For some, including myself, we are the singleton in terms of content area, and that, my friends, can be a lonely place to be when things get crazy.

Connecting with our colleagues is crucial to perfecting our craft as educators and bringing the best to our students everyday. Note...I said everyday. On a daily basis, we need some way to connect with people we trust, who support us, and who share ideas that we haven’t even considered. Enter the Twitterverse. Twitter has become a place for educators to find and design their own meaningful professional learning network (PLN) in their own time and space.  It is a place where every idea has worth and there is always a helpful string of suggestions about where to go or who to contact if you have a problem. ("   It’s nearly impossible to keep up with all of the resources available to us as educators, and Twitter is a way to harness some that information when and where you need it. Additionally, it’s a place to develop professional connections when it’s time to think about making a change. Twitter is truly a powerful tool in the educator’s toolbox...did I mention it’s FREE?

One of my Twitter colleagues is a librarian from the East Coast, Sara Kelley-Mudie.   We’ve never met personally, but we’ve exchanged well wishes, safe travels, and professional ideas over the last two years. She’s an amazing, gifted librarian, and I would never have had an opportunity to visit with her without Twitter. Her most recent blog post on connectivity relates how our connections to each other enhance & model collaboration to our students.  We are the example they see in terms of the 21st century thought process. Our connectivity to others and digital citizenship are the measure our students will use going forward. Brad Currie, one of the creators of #satchat, a national education chat, commented on his blog most effectively on how the Twitter network has changed the national principals’ conference dynamic. Participants were able to keep up with every session through Twitter hashtags and there was an amazing energy flowing from the sharing of so many ideas and resources because so many people already had connections through Twitter.

Twitter has changed me as an educator in ways that I would never imagined. I have had the good fortune to share ideas with the movers and shakers in my own professional content area as well as other dynamic educators across Nebraska and the nation. I’m honored to be a part of the growing PLN in Nebraska through #nebedchat, a Twitter conversation each Wednesday evening.  I moderated a chat last October on “Books and Inspirations.” The books and blog posts were coming from every direction and we ended the hour with a full list of inspirational and professional resources for educators at any level including a drop in by Dr. Todd Whitaker (another happy dance moment). The ideas shared through this network have infused my teaching with dynamic and engaging strategies.  

My life is full, just as yours may be, and I find that often the reservoir is running low. My place in the Twittersphere has provided me with inspiration, knowledge, and humor in a way that fits seamlessly into my world as a school librarian connecting to readers, movers, educators &
PLN to gently shake the world. What is your Twitterosophy?

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