Monday, July 23, 2012

Twitter: Source for Professional Development, Community and Authentic Teaching Opportunities

I tweet, therefore I am?  Not at all.  I try very hard not to tweet what I eat, where I am, or what I am doing unless it might be beneficial to someone.  Specifically the 200+ people who follow me (which means they receive my tweets in their timeline).  Thanks by the way, if you follow me AND read my blog!  Sometimes I tweet about something funny or interesting.  Mostly though, I tweet to communicate with other teachers and for professional development.  I LOVE that it is short and concise- 140 characters does not take much time to read over.  I may check my Twitter account several times a day, or I may go a week without checking in.  Many of the 1,156 times I've tweeted (thus far) have been conversations with people who follow me or the #kinderchat hashtag.  Tweeting is a bit like instant messaging all your virtual friends about a topic- and then some of them reply.  Anyone following you or the hashtag can see and take part in the conversation.

If you're clueless about Twitter check out this tweet/link:

Blogging : For Twitter newbies: "What’s a # mean on Twitter and what is a Twitter “Chat”?" Shout out to

Here are some of my tweets from #kinderchat past- I like to think of the #kinderchat as a station- everyone tuning in is for some reason interested in K and most are experienced educators.  When I am facing a dilemma, a frustration, or want to share a laugh... I go to my #kinderchat peeps.

Every Monday night at 9ET/6PT  a bunch of kinder teachers gather round the world wide web and share ideas, resources, frustrations...  During the school year there are scheduled topics- theses tweets from me were on using tech with kinders.

@i_teach_K Handwriting practice on iPads- if you gotta do it, it might as well be fun.

@i_teach_K tweeting w/kiddos= meaningful reason to read and write

[re: skype play and twitter with kinders] @i_teach_K increases communication skills and teaches manners... The kids LOVE it, good enough reason there

[re: skype play and twitter with kinders] @i_teach_K helps children consider others point of view, learn about culture and geography in meaningful ways  

@i_teach_K I like StoryKit, free for drawing, adding text and recording them speaking about it  

@i_teach_K Instead of whiteboards we write on iPads with sketchio  

I love Twitter for professional development.  If I'm following someone it's becasue I trust their judgment and value their opinions.  So when someone tweets about an article, I can trust that I want to read it.  I don't subscribe to professional magazines (who can afford to, really?) and don't have time to search for articles.  Yet on Twitter I can find articles and websites that are amazing and timely.  

New guidelines for tech & young children by and

Think Share Teach: Teaching in the one-iPad Classroom | blog post of things you can do with the lone iPad.

One  of the best ways for free professional development is to follow a conference hashtag such as #iste2012 or #mobile2012 or #naeyc12 - attendees tweet quotes, key ideas, resources and links... which you can digest in the comfort of your comfiest chair while they sit in a cold or hot, crowded conference room on hard chairs.  
Good Teaching nuggets

I don't look at the app and try to teach it. I teach math and find an app that goes with it. - Go !! 

From Graham of Learning Without Frontiers on QR Codes "just because it's digital doesn't mean it's good ;)"  

Twitter also is a GOOD source for free apps/websites
45 of these 60 educational iOS apps are free: (via &

New free iOS app BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week is fun for students in grades K-3:

Through Twitter I found out about Daily Five- which revolutionized my literacy instruction this year.  My kids BEGGED for Daily Five time.  
For your reading pleasure: archive to tonights re: . Enjoy!

And Symbaloo and the AWESOME #kinderchat mixes

Here is the link to the webmix of youTube songs to get them moving

AND Wonderopolis

BTW is brought to you by the great people at

And my classroom families LOVED when I discovered how to use Facebook to connect and share daily what we were doing in class

RT : I use a closed group for my class FB page. Little more info here

Resources too great to miss

Kids loved that THE author was rdg it RT : The Kissing Hand B&N online storybook: .

Tweeting is not just for adults- get your kinder kids involved next year- as I tweeted ealier it is a way to connect them with the world, give them authemtic reasons to read and write, an audience, and expose them to culture and diversity AND timezones!  
Great blog post about tweeting with kinders

more re K and tweeting

Another about tweets in K

Lastly, the laughs on Twitter are awesome when it's humor you totally get becasue it's from the kinder-universe:  Hint- look at the picture in the link!

Sometimes play is awkward worst part "Mr. Gomez you are the one on top" ... I changed tables after that

So,  if you've been hesitant to join Twitter... I hope you'll dive in and discover it's amazing opportunities for connecting, learning, and especially teaching!  Follow some of the people I copied the tweets from @matt_gomez @tonyvincent @hechternacht @mr_fines @tcea and definitely check out #kinderchat on Monday nights or anytime for great kinderworld inspirations!

Tell me how you use it in your professional life and say hi on twitter: My accounts are @i_teach_k or @tweetsueh

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