Tool #1: Twitter
With so much out there it’s hard to know where to begin. But Twitter is by far the number one online professional growth tool for educators. It’s the link and the glue that connects and brings colleagues and our collective knowledge together.
While others may use Twitter for celebrity gossip, news updates, relentless self-promotion* and recreational outrage – educators can use it to develop a PLN (personal learning network) of colleagues from right at home to around the world. And what these colleagues deliver is a steady stream of all the very best ideas, relevant resources and inspiring conversations. Ten minutes a few times a week can bring you a carefully curated set of the very best just-in-time resources in your areas of interest.
Use Twitter to
- Find and/or grow your personal and professional (online) tribe.
- Learn from others and share your learning and make it visible
- Discover and connect with colleagues close to home and around the world.
- Showcase your work and that of your colleagues
- Access the richness of learning and resources at your fingertips in the most efficient way
- Save time
- Discover the value of hashtags # and the camaraderie of online chats and create a personal learning community.
It all depends on who you follow.
It’s OK to start as a lurker but it’s better to also contribute and give back. And don’t be an egg – add a picture to your profile.
And the way to building your followers is by engaging with others, sharing out their best ideas by retweeting them, engaging in conversation and using hashtags in Twitter chats.
To get started follow these PDS folks.
|@jcampbrown||Josh Camp Brown|
|@LiPipmanDenaut||Li Pipman Denaut|
* And there’s nothing wrong with a little self-promotion. It’s helpful to others to share your best work and good thinking.
Tool #2 Canva
I can’t speak too highly of Canva. If you do any kind of graphic design work for personal or professional use then you need to know about this really powerful tool. Take a look and start playing. You too can making high quality slides, social media posts, posters, fliers, invitations, cards and all the rest using your own uploads or stock images, customizable templates and etc.
Here’s an example. I’ve been reading the work of the wonderful math educator Jo Boaler since Barbara Wood came back from NCTM with a (signed) copy of What’s Math Got to Do with It?: How Teachers and Parents Can Transform Mathematics Learning and Inspire Success. I came across these words and wanted to share them. Over to Canva – pick the Twitter post dimensions, the background and the font and there it is. Done. Over to Twitter and shared with the world. @BarbaraLWood – this one’s for you!