by Meredith Johnson, #BookCampPD moderator
Since I joined Twitter in March of 2012, almost six years ago, my understanding of its “ripple effect” is still growing. Years ago, when I would try to encourage my colleagues to join as my enthusiasm was like going outside on a beautiful, spring day, after months of a cold Minnesota winter, I was met with resistance. Some would say, “Oh, Twitter … yeah … that’s where teachers send each other tweets about how wonderful they are.” Or, very often, “I would like to try it, but I just don’t have the time.” These comments didn’t dissuade me but made me feel sorry that they wouldn’t enjoy the tremendous professional learning that was taking place there each day.
Fast forward six years, and I certainly see the daily influence passionate educators have for one another. What is so interesting is that you may not even ever realize your impact on others. During a chat, you quickly post a tweet, sharing your thoughts, and overtime, hundreds might read and connect with it. This happened to me recently when Bridget Gengler @BridgetGengler shared a blog posting she had written. Extraordinary things can happen, as she shared in her blog, from one idea, shared during a chat. What is most important is the impact and change that occurred with her students from this graphic by William Arthur Ward. I was thrilled when she agreed to share her blog post on our https://mjj61244.wordpress.com/blog-posts/ site. What an amazing person she is!
After moderating the #BookCampPD chat for almost two years, I also lean back and reflect on observing the shifts that take place, overtime, as educators continue their use of Twitter. A person might start out with the tremendously helpful chat, #NT2T on Saturday mornings at 9:00 EST, and move to be a guest moderator, leading their own chat, diving into writing blog posts, creating a podcast or writing a book. What amazing lead learners they are!
As I have always loved being an innovator, pushing the comfort zone of those in education, I wonder how Twitter will evolve over time. When I began in education, we didn’t have computers, certainly, Twitter didn’t exist, there weren’t any blog posts, podcasts and very few books were being written by those who are daily involved with educating children. What will come next? How can we help each other grow, be supportive of “failing forward,” and jump into new ideas, such as @Flipgrid, that will shift learning? One thing I am sure of …. we are #StrongerTogether. Many thanks to all those who share their passion for helping others each day on Twitter.