|The Twitter Logo|
Currently, I use Tweetdeck to manage my Twitter use. I keep an eye on things by using hashtags - so much easier than trying to follow everything that's going on! I'm not a slave to it. I usually check my account in a morning before I go to work and then again a couple of times in an evening.
|Courtesy of the BBC|
|Mark, myself, Tara & JC|
So, I have already listed several good reasons why I use Twitter and what I get out of it, but I've yet to mention the most important - for my professional development as an EFL teacher and manager. Through Twitter, I am connected to a huge circle of dedicated professionals living and working in almost every country on earth. We exchange ideas about all aspects of our jobs. Whichever time zone we are in, there is invariably someone online to answer a query or to offer links and advice about something which is troubling us. The PLN (personal learning network) I have developed through Twitter has grown gradually and organically over time and, although I have never met the majority of the teachers in person, I feel like they are friends and colleagues.
All of the articles I read, the webinars I attend, and the ideas I share with my 'real-life' colleagues at EIU, come from tweets and links posted by my PLN. This invaluable information comes through throughout the week, but there are two hours every Wednesday when it comes thick and fast! These are the times when a number of us get together to debate an issue in a forum we call #eltchat. You can read about how it works here. It is clear how much I value my #eltchat sessions when you see how many summaries I've written!
I'm not going to list the teachers I follow on Twitter - they know who they are and there are too many of them to name individually. I will, however, mention a couple, just to illustrate the power of this great tool. The first is @teacherphili who I 'met' through Twitter and who, just last week, came to work with me at EIU in Vietnam. The other is Lesley Cioccarelli (@cioccas), a teacher from Australia who I haven't met in person yet, but with whom I am presenting at CamTESOL 2013. I'm really looking forward to collaborating with her on this project and to welcoming her to Vietnam before the conference so that I can show her EIU and share with her what we are trying to achieve here.
These reasons, and others too numerous to mention, are why I love the 'Twitterverse' and why I will continue to use it - for facts, fun and friendship!!