I have repeatedly tried to sell Twitter to my fellow administrators, but it is an uphill battle. Mention the words “social media, blogging, or Twitter” and it seems they either want to race on to the next topic, or their eyes glaze over and I’m fairly sure they’re not hearing what I’m saying. I’ve been tweeting for almost three years now, and I am continually amazed by what it allows me to do. For those of you who might be trying to convince your principal or other administrators about the usefulness of Twitter, here’s some things that I’ve found useful with the micro-blogging tool during the past year.
1. I’ve connected with other educators across the world. Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to so easily connect with an administrator in New Zealand or Germany. I have been able to exchange ideas with teachers and administrators in British Columbia, Korea, and India. I have been able to discuss merit pay, school vouchers, and other policy issues with state leaders. Twitter gives users, and especially administrators, the ability to connect world-wide and to engage in the global conversation about education.
2. I’ve been able to engage in education discussions and conversations with individuals well beyond my own community. For example, through Twitter, I have had post exchanges with Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System. I have had the pleasure to discuss education reform with leaders of state education organizations. Twitter gives administrators the ability to connect with leading experts and scholars in education.
3. I’ve collected an enormous list of bookmarks and links on all facets of education. Part of the effectiveness of Twitter is getting connected to the right people. As my own PLN has grown, so has the storehouse of resources I’ve been able to gather. Twitter gives me as an administrator an endless stream of resources to help me do my job, and to share with my teachers.
4. My connections to those in education continues to expand. As I get more and more connected through Twitter, the potential for learning more from other educators grows. When a teacher from Australia recently messaged me with an idea on how she deals with student engagement in her classroom, I was able to help one of my own teachers with that same struggle. Twitter transforms users into global learners, and makes school administrators globally connected administrators.
For those technologists out there trying to convince administrators to get connected, you might sum up my four advantages to using Twitter this way: 1) Global connections, 2) Expert Connections, 3) Resource Connections, and 4) Organic Connections. Keep trying to get those administrators connected. Once they see the above advantages, they’ll be sold.