Monday, December 23, 2013

Being Connected - a Twitter Reflection

A few weeks ago I tweeted my 6000th tweet. I marked it with a shout out to my current & past students at BU. This 'milestone', and I use the term lightly (I am not a prolific user of twitter, well that might be relative, I tweet more than many, but less than many others), along with being a participant in someone else's Ph.D. research,  prompted me to reflect back over my use of social media. It was really starting this career as a teacher educator and educational researcher that prompted me to start using social media to connect. While I had dabbled in some forms of Web 2.0 and social media as a school Principal, I started really using social media seriously in 2009 for many reasons. Primarily I thought I should know more about the media that many educators were using and beginning to use in the classroom. I did not want to be one of those people who criticize social media without a real knowledge of it. As I started using twitter - and adding in other media - slideshare, several Ning groups, LinkedIn ... (I now have too many social media accounts to keep track of) that I began to realize even more value. About this same time I also began blogging - this one is my first, started as part of a course in my Ph.D. program, and I added a few more after that. I found twitter to be the mainstay of my PLE, it was a way to share and discover resources, articles and posts of interest, but was even more so a tremendous way to connect and keep in touch with others. It is also, at times, a source of amusement! I follow many educators at all levels (I think it is vital to keep current with what is happening in schools given my role as a teacher educator & researcher) in addition to many other people from many walks of life. I have met so many of these people face-to-face, through online chats and other ways and each adds value to me as a person and a professional. I could go on to name some of the people I have met, but there are many & I have mentioned some in previous blog posts. This is the real value of twitter (& social media) - it is a technology, but it is much more - it is about people, and it does us well to remember that the people we meet - in person or online, that give life value.

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