what prompted you to join twitter?

By Meredith Johnson – @mjjohnson1216

June 18, 2020

What prompted you to join Twitter? This was a question I tweeted out on May 23, 2020 and again the next day. I found the question received 81,084 impressions and 2,170 engagements. Quite impressive! I posted this as I hoped to share, with educators all over the world, how many different reasons there are to join Twitter. In the book, Evolving Learner (Rowell, Andre, Steinmann, 2020) they share, “If you are an adult who has … avoided social media for another reason, we encourage you to hear us out and take another look. Social media, when used thoughtfully and well, could be the most powerful source of professional learning that you have ever found.” Keep their quote in mind as you read through the responses that follow. What I adore about all of them is they are so different! 178 unique individuals responded to this question – some of them showing their marvelous creativity!

Depth and accessibility of the professional development opportunities.

EdCamps

You have voice outside this building,

Becoming a connected educator has been a total game changer!

Learning that takes place

Build a broader PLN and learn from educators who I’ve seen at conferences or read books by.

Keynote speaker that recommended using @Twitter to learn.

Principal, @BrianMoore55 was a huge inspiration

A desire to be able to reach my students for this account.

School. I manage my school’s twitter feed. That and going to conferences.

Grow as an educator, get on #Twitter. He was right! My #pln has grown substantially. I also try to advocate, inspire, & empower others. I love connecting w/edus who have the same #positiveenergy & love for our profession positive energy

Twitter shamed by an AP in my former district

Good intentions turned into the best ongoing PD received and a fantastic PLN group!

My goal was to expand my PLC by interacting/engaging with teachers beyond just those in my district. In all honesty, being a part of #TeacherTwitter has taken my career to a whole other level. I love my #TeacherTwitterComm!

I was honestly just being a follower at the time listening to all the Twitter buzz.

Hesitant at first, but joined for the team and never looked back! Found educators who stretch my thinking and inspire me! So glad I found my tribe!

I learned about Twitter when I attended @iste several years ago. #edutwitter and the #educhat platform have served as an invaluable resource to @grow my craft.

Professional and personal development. I can interact with professionals from around the world

More professional, reaching higher profiles, more expertise shared, more opportunities created.

It was required for our school PD. Never thought it would be this #awesome

I fought it as just another SM but joined and saw the PLN of it all and I am so glad I did.

To increase my professional connections and further my learning. I love my Twitter peeps.

About 10 years ago I went to a conference session on blogs, wikis, and Twitter as educator tools. I did all 3 for a while but Twitter is what stuck!

It took me about a year to give in, way back when I started, but it was when I realized I could follow most of what was happening at a conference I couldn’t attend in person that I got it enough to give it a chance

I needed more support for my kinders. Not just DonorsChoose, but the brilliant minds I have connected to here. I have gotten emotional support to try new things and rethink old supplies for new used.

PD by @JillBromen

It was the Thomas Fire out here in SoCal. I wasn’t getting good or timely info on school closings etc. There were a couple people that stepped up and did what the media wasn’t doing. Having that connection thru Twitter was huge. I have met so many educators thru this also

For me, it was b/c Alan November @globalearner told us it was a MUST at my first @NLearning

#BLC conference back in 2010. So obviously I followed his advice & got signed up then & there. Next step was attending @lthumann ‘s session on 25 #edtech leaders to follow to get me going!

A place to follow my students and to contact them teacher twitter has helped me more than I’ve ever thought it could!!

I was doing research for my first book and I was told I could reach a lot of people. I didn’t know how to use it. I did sign up and then it lay dormant forever a long-time

@globalearner visited my school and I was inspired to try again.

Believe it or not that was 5 years ago and only due to this pandemic have I become so involved here. This educational Twitter family is my go-to for all thing’s education, motivation, inspiration & support

VSTE and ISTE there usually is a hashtag to follow and I keep up with those I know. There are sometimes gatherings to eat or whatever that get coordinated and contests. I also like to tweet out what I learn at sessions and tag teachers I know might be interested

I think someone mentioned it in 2007 and I was bored. For this account I discovered edu Twitter in 2013 at a conference.

It was April 2009 and I was looking for innovative ways to connect with students and share lessons.

Post it with my syllabus for my university courses – but not my middle school classes. That said, my student audiences are not on twitter much anyhow. It seems much better teacher-to-teacher and professional-to-professional.

Years ago, a colleague encouraged me to try Twitter and as the saying goes, “I never looked back!”

I joined as part of an assignment in grad school to connect with #edtech professionals and build a professional learning network

I was fairly new to social media still and made an account. Later, I had a grad school assignment and this is the growth since then. I follow a few hobby related threads but its education related for the most part.

An assignment in grad school to connect with #edtech professionals and build a professional learning network

I have been an educator for 30 years and Twitter had helped me learn about new digital tools, curriculums, resources, books, and conferences about education. I have learned about Educational Leadership, new learning platforms, new technology features

Twitter chats

This is kind of sad, but I used to teach at a small #school where I always felt like a nobody. Then I started connecting to people on Twitter, and they liked my ideas and they listened to what I had to say. For the first time in years, I felt as though I mattered

Have gotten great advice and feedback and made amazing connections. I am the only one of my kind at school. I teach a tech maker STEM class, so I dont have that team. Twitter is my team.

I started to collaborate with educators all over the world and use Twitter to improve my teaching.

@JillBromen launched the use of IPAD s for all ELL teachers in my district.

@gcouros gave an aMAZing presentation about the positive impacts of Twitter, it has truly made a difference in my educational career.

I used to avoid it. The name just set me on edge. Until I discovered the networking & building a PLN as an educator. I so value the connections.

I joined when I started at a new district. It was the best thing ever!

Networking. Twitter is great for connecting!

I initially joined after a district initiative to use a Twitter as a platform to share practices and current reality with colleagues and parents.

to Merce @Ms_Sampson23 who convinced me join this platform. I have met an awesome networking team of educators, access to relevant PD sessions and chats that keep me abreast of new tech. trends and changes in education.

When I was in college it was required for some of my education classes. Second time was a push from admin in my school for networking opportunities.

To learn and grow from other educators.

Wanted to connect with educators sharing new and exciting ideas

I attended an Ed Tech Summit and learned about all the possibilities. One of the best decisions I ever made. I have learned so much and gained some great relationships.

I joined because of an online conference called Reform Symposium.

The interactivity for sure!

Learning and connecting to other learners

I started a personal account back when Twitter was new because I wanted to talk to John Mayer. Then I bumped into edu chats & made this profile

I joined in 2011… no idea why. But didn’t start to really use it till 2015 when I discovered Twitter chats for educators. A world opened up for me. I still remember the excitement of that moment!

I was hired as an edtech coach. I had heard that teachers were on Twitter so I thought it may be a good way to learn some things.

Initially, to join a chat about the #Oscars but learned yrs later the power to learn, connect and share.

Primarily to grow my #PLN but also to maybe perhaps make some friends… the former has been a work in progress, the latter – not so much… Oh and… Eid Mubarak

I wanted to get better as an educator…What better way to learn then by being connected to giant edu community…Still learning, growing, and connecting

@gcouros came to our district and trained us on Twitter and did a Twitter-vention as @alicekeeler would say create a handle use a hashtag how to follow people or other educators ”imagine if every teacher at your school tweeted one positive thing per day”

I wanted to get better as an educator…What better way to learn then by being connected to giant edu community…Still learning, growing, and connecting

It’s what all the cool, connected educators were doing. I’m so happy I tried it out!

IDOE book study

When I was superintendent, I told my faculty to join Twitter…revolt! So, I never mentioned again. A few joined…

It was April 2009 and I was looking for innovative ways to connect with students and share lessons.

I just wanted to learn from different perspectives, cultures, subjects….

About 13 years ago my friend in IT said, this thing is gonna be a big deal. I haven’t consistently used it but I’ve had one since then. Most recently my move to edtech prompted my increased engagement

To keep up with what is happening in the world

Curiosity. Twitter had only been around a few years. My daughters and I were looking at it and Second Life.

My friend, @doriedance

Wanted to connect with educators sharing new and exciting ideas

The opportunity to connect with likeminded people and to increase my professional learning network.

Book study at school

To connect with other passionate educators!

Teaching, Learning, connecting with others that stretched way beyond my zip code to start …

I joined after attending an online conference Roscon? That was orchestrated by @ShellTerrell … it was my first experience with online conferences after my master’s degree!

For me… opportunity to collaborate with other professionals on a personalized learning platform; I chose what I want for no cost!

Leadership academy

I wanted to live tweet conference sessions instead of taking notes I’d never look at again

I started using because some friends of mine that I respected in education (2APs etc.) said that I needed to be on it and it was on Pd goals. Glad I did because I have learned a lot and met some great people and made some great friends

I wanted to stay connected to my students

Another teacher used it and showed me its possibilities. I swear it’s been the source of the best free professional development I’ve ever had. I’m constantly inspired by other educators out there! – 85

The same as most other things that draw me in. Curiosity and Wonder. The fundamental question: What’s this? Eleven years later, I’m still learning from following.

I started using it at NCSS 2016. I learned of the power of Twitter and and it has changed me as a teacher.

I joined after a conference where people were using it share their learning. Didn’t really get it until my first Twitter chat a few months later and realizing it was a level playing field where anyone could share out

The reason I joined – I was at a convention in WI where @E_Sheninger was speaking in 2013. He encouraged every single one of us to join by the end of the convention. I did.

Wanted to connect with other educators. Love hearing the ideas, and stories, shared by others so that I can grow in my own leadership and better serve my teachers. Some challenge my thinking and some support. Twitter for me is about growth opportunities.

The reason I “engaged” (which took me a few years after “joining”) – I was reading #KidsDeserveIt & #BeTheOne. Their reflective questions at the end of each chapter pushed me out of the role of Twitter observer to Twitter contributor. I have not looked back ever since!  

Celebrating our school story but it has become so much more!!

Rapid, creative sharing of ideas, resources, collaboration of math educators

To build a professional network! To be able to go and seek answers from people who do what I do!

Required by school admin to check in @ PD.

@kresak2j offered me chocolate..true story. @kresak2j gave intro PD to staff & placed chocolates in our mailboxes if we were caught tweeting (thanks, J!). From that day, I’ve been so impressed with the wealth of info at my fingertips & the experts I can connect with in an instant..love it

The college class I was taking encouraged it in order to increase digital communication

I wanted to connect with other educators at #ISTE14 and discovered that Twitter could help me learn and grow exponentially on my own time, in my own way. I’ve been a #ConnectedEducator ever since!

I read the book “The Innovator’s Mindset” by @gcouros GAME-CHANGER

I started in 2008. At first I just wanted to see what it was. Then in 2009 I found a huge running community as I prepared for my first marathon. Somewhere near the end of 2010 I discovered teacher friends and EDU & that has been my purpose here ever since.

I started because of the hype but quickly discovered it as a source to challenge my ideas, learn and connect with others that I would never have had the opportunity to meet otherwise

I wanted to connect with other educators and was encouraged to by friends in real life who have a strong network here.

I wanted to connect and learn and grow from likeminded positive educators in order to expand professionally!

I started this account last April. I became a Fund for Teachers fellow and they asked for my professional social media and I realized I didn’t have any. So, I started trying to figure it out. It’s been the best PD.

Students!

I joined because it seemed to be the thing to do at a conf I attended. I stayed as I realized there was more here than pics of food & running. What an amazing space in which to learn/share! Here you can find your voice. fellow edus, & all kinds of inspiration!

You can blame @burgessdave & @tishrich for introducing me to the professional benefits of being here.

I was inspired by @raehughart, and she led me on an amazing journey that has truly changed my life.

I joined Twitter because I was trying to grow my professional leadership within the education field. In the end I met some great people who helped me grow beyond my job and education and I’m extremely happy to call them friends and family!!

Building my professional learning network when I started my journey to become a teacher!

To connect with other school librarians and tech leaders. School librarianship is an island. Finding others in my content who were interested in honing their craft, sharing ideas, and building community led me to Twitter.

The then-new tech guy @kcalderw made me! LOL True enough story. Then again, you learn from people with different experiences. His #edtech experience and knowledge has transformed learning in our school, starting with something as simple as, “You need to get on Twitter.”

Started after attending a conference several years ago and wanted to stay connected to some of the presenters. I have found Twitter to be some of the best PD.

Increasing my personal learning network and connecting with other educators!

#bookcampPD

Work! Hobby!

Get new ideas and feel inspired

Wanted to be a part of a bigger teacher community

I had reached a point in my career when I was severely doubting my ability to enable positive change. I’ve been overwhelmed with joy in connecting with other educators and leaders who truly care. It has reinvigorated by passion to make a difference.

I joined Twitter to post pictures and share with parents what we are doing in the classroom. I have since found it a great place to connect with other educators.

My college professor @kvdixon showed us what a powerful tool Twitter could be for #PD .

I was beginning a 21st century Classroom and wanted to connect my students to other classrooms around the world! I also wanted to learn from other educators.

I was encouraged to use Twitter to connect with other educators, be inspired, and to seek out answers to questions.

I like others was looking to showcase what I was doing at work and collaborate worldwide.

4+ yrs ago, my colleague @heystryker encouraged me to join Twitter for the learning community it could provide. As an instructional technology coach, I wanted a way to get ideas, to see what others were doing. Eventually I was comfortable sharing my own ideas! Best decision ever!

I use Twitter to broadcast my essence – authentically, boundlessly, consistently, devotedly, expansively, fun-lovingly, gracefully, hopefully, lovingly transparently, vulnerably, wholeheartedly.

A bright young educator who showed me the opportunities to connect with educational thought leaders here! @b_e_sanders

True story: I came because @TheEllenShow wanted to ‘break Twitter ‘ when she was hosting Academy Awards. I wanted to see what that meant. I stayed when I stumbled upon #tlap & #bfc530. I can’t imagine going back. I have built an amazing #PLN and am better for it.

I started in 2012 when @gofrontrow hosted a @NorthBayCUE twitter training. It’s been a fantastic way to keep up to date on EdTech issues.

My job!

For me it was curiosity. Started poking around in 2009. Created the account as a “class newsfeed” but eventually moved toward the personal leaning/collaborating side and created a separate class account (@PS10Tech and now @HeathcoteTech)

I felt like Twitter provided me with positive, inspirational thoughts on education as well as the latest and greatest in the field. This helped me provide top-notch PD then, as a coach, and continues to do so now, as an administrator. I like remaining current!


Wanting to interact w/like-minded Ts having a similar experience to mine. Joined very close to beginning of Twitter when we were all trying to keep up w/everything new in leveraging tech in Ed. It quickly became my source of learning, camaraderie, & collaborative problem solving.

First to push a Donors Choose project but then did nothing for ~5 years. I moved to a new district that uses Twitter so I resurrected my account, but again did very little. Then @mradamwelcome did PD for our district mentioning the benefits. I found chats and the rest is history!

A friend who suggested that it was a great professional development tool for learning and global connections

I was speaking at a BOE meeting about class size and demands on teachers. Our Union asked if anyone was on social media. Suggested tweeting out as we waited for the BOE session to begin. So, I did ….

I wanted to create a group for our high school to promote positivity for our kids. Since then, I have followed so many other educators and more to better serve our students! There is so much out there!

Joined Twitter about a year and a half ago to connect to the #gamemyclass folks especially @MrHebertPE who are a bunch of badass gamifiers lighting up the classroom!

Initially it was used for publicity, to share a current event as it was happening. What am I enjoying? I appreciate witty remarks. I appreciate being able to choose what I want to see/read. As an educator, it’s a quick way to share out what’s happening in our classrooms.

It was introduced at a PD session. At first, I was clueless but once I got the hang of it, it has opened my eyes to so many positive things in my teaching career!

WSTA started to get involved with more educators

To learn!

Connection and building a PLN – learn from others. Share with others.

I wanted to connect with other educators.

The #clearthelists campaign got me started, and it’s been great to connect with teachers worldwide.

A colleague suggested I would find the like minded, similarly motivated educators I was looking to engage with, on #Twitter so I joined and she was right. Thanks @CathyWilson123

Professional development and networking  

Started twitter thanks to @PLTWorg during a Lead Teacher training! I think others are hesitant because it’s tough to start a social media platform with zero followers and no idea how to “get more”

I wanted to connect with educators. I’ve discovered a wonderful world of like-minded educators. I never knew about chats. Learned as I bumbled through. I love what I learn from our #PLN. I love to contribute & learn. I’ve made some amazing & supportive friends.

One of my grad school professors said that it was the best spot for PD. And it was!

I had a Twitter account for a few years and was just an observer. It wasn’t until a @gcouros presentation years ago that I saw the power of engaging in the platform. Haven’t looked back.

I joined to share the amazing work being done on our campus and within our district. Little did I know that it would allow me to make connections with people from around the globe. I have learned from so many master educators through chats and through their posts.

I was challenged to use it for developing a wider PLN.

Purely to find like-minded educators that I could learn from. I remember lurking for several years before I dare even say a peep! It continues to be my favorite space to develop myself in education and tech integration!

My AP actually encouraged it

The most expansive PLN ever!

My admin program was trying something “new” back in 2011

I had written my book Blended Vocabulary. The marketing team wanted me on Twitter to promote it. So glad I took the plunge! Have learned so much!

I was learning @Flipgrid and found a lot of tricks here!

Professional network

To become connected with other educators worldwide and locally to share ideas and learn new things which is a continual journey in Teaching.

You are amazing @NAlston9 @JohnnaParaiso suggested it to me many years ago, but it wasn’t until 2016 when I became addicted by discovering #Ellchat_BkClub and  @Toppel_ELD

Grant money

I was referred to Twitter by  @CBTennyson to use it for educational use in an ELL workshop. And have blossomed ever since.

Networking amongst other educators. It is awesome.

Get connected and learn from a larger community.

My principal

I did so for a grad class back in 2011 #edtech

I was at a conference 2012 and met Kelly Gallagher. He said he uses Twitter for work. My journey began right then and there.

And I started one at a PD workshop as a teacher. I didn’t use it for years until I became a Dept Chair and had to use it.

In all honesty. I made one in college because my professor made it an assignment.  I used it a bit back then but only recently in the last year or two got back into it after my department chair told me I should use it for PD.

Started using bc @kfairchild6 told me about this thing called “Twitter” where I could connect and learn with other educators. That was the Fall of 2016. I had just returned from an almost 3-year leave. Best advice! The classroom had changed so much! Glad I’m changing along w/it!

Is your mind swirling with all of the positive thoughts these educators shared? Jennifer Casa-Todd shares in her book Social LEADia, (2017), “Once you experience how powerful, meaningful, and transformation technology and social media connections can be, introducing them into your classroom for students to experience becomes not only desirable, but imperative.

I created WordArt of all these responses for you visual learners! It’s so interesting to see the words that seem to jump out of the heart at you.

So now, my question to all of you reading this is, how will you use the information to encourage others to come and learn with us? Will you share it at your school or district in hopes of helping them understand how many different reasons there are to join Twitter? How can this blog post work toward my dream of encouraging those not using Twitter to jump in, and either try it again, or get their feet wet? You can make a difference in achieving that goal. I believe we are stronger together!

Organizing Memories

Organizing Memories

By Meredith Johnson

Over the years of my life, I have had the wonderful experience of having three sons who are now adults. I also was fortunate to have my parents into their 80’s and 90’s! Unfortunately, two of my three brothers have passed away. I also have some items from my mother’s parents (my grandparents) that she held onto over the years. I hauled all the items from these relatives all over the United States as I liked to move and have new adventures. I always thought that when I retired, I would organize all of their items but certainly never had the time when I was working. I believe getting older and having time to reflect on the meaning of someone’s life also played a part in moving forward with the organization. I was highly motivated by the fact that I didn’t want memories of my two brothers and their lives to disappear after only one generation.

I thought for quite some time about how I was going to organize all the items I had. I began with tall stacks of plastic containers and boxes in our guest bedroom. I was fortunate to have a king-size bed that didn’t need to be used so I could sort through the items without having to pick them all up at the end of each day. I spent over a week working on this task. One thing I didn’t know how challenging it would be on my heartstrings. There were days when I sat on the bed and cried as I touched each item. I would take breaks and begin again knowing I wanted to preserve all the memories rather than give up letting the emotions get the better of me.

Here are the items to begin with. Since we are all staying in our homes, it would be easy to purchase them online.

I thought it might help to view the finished product. For family members, like my adult sons, items will continue to be added as the years go by. I have so many questions about relatives who have come before me that I never knew. For instance, I have a grandfather who I never met and besides a few photographs and his wooden toolbox, I don’t have many items to remember him by. I hope through my efforts many generations who will come after me will have a greater understanding of those who have come before.

During this unexpected time perhaps, you’ll want to begin on this project for your family. Go slowly, take small steps and keep the end in mind when loving memories of those who have come before us become overwhelming.

Kodak Moments

Kodak Moments

By Meredith Johnson

In my childhood, I have this memory of my parents inviting their friends over for dinner and after eating, they shared the most wonderful bonding experience with each other. My father would get out the screen and slide projector and set it up in the living room. During those years we kept most photographs in slides rather than hard copies of the pictures. My mother would bring in the after-dinner coffee. They would spend hours laughing and joking about the slides that were shared from vacations or momentous occasions in their lives. You see, these were the “Kodak Moments” of their lives.

As we fast forward to today, we suddenly have time on our hands to make new memories. Families today have these “Kodak Moments” stored away digitally on a hard drive or old computer. Would you consider connecting wherever these are electronically stored to a large screen television in your house using an HDMI cable? Make some popcorn and gather the family around for an evening of fond memories that will tug at your heartstrings. For one evening leave behind the latest movie or series your watching on Netflix and open your heart to memories of long ago.

May I suggest another element that will spread this joy and happiness to those you see in the photographs? You may not be able to physically be with them at this time, but the photographs will bring back marvelous memories. Perhaps these are family members, friends or those you worked with over the years. It seems that time has quickly slipped by and many of us will have digital photographs that are three decades or more old! My idea is to create a special folder or two. As you come across a photograph, that means the world to you or would bring back a fond memory for others, you quickly save the snapshot into that folder. Perhaps the next day you will have time to electronically share the ones that are tucked away in that folder with others. It can be your way of lifting the spirits of others during this time of uncertainty and letting them know how much having them in your life means.

I have a favorite Paul Anka song “Times of Your Life.” Years ago I purchased a machine that transforms slides into digital images. One summer I created DVDs of these for all our family members. In the background, I added Paul Anka’s song as a soundtrack. Photos can bring such joyful memories into our lives. I wish you and your family joy during this unplanned, special time you have together.

Sunday Thoughts of Changing Times

by Meredith Johnson @mjjohnson1216

Ever thought about how quickly times are changing?

This morning I was looking at the weather forecast on my phone and noticed that they shared a “Watson Insight” brought to me by CVS Pharmacy. It mentions that the flu alert remains high and provides a map outlining where this is happening in my area. Whether it’s actually high or not remains to be seen but I was thinking about how many senior citizens are affected by catching the flu. South West Florida is certainly filled with senior citizens everywhere you turn. So, perhaps, they might see this and decide to stay home? This is where the changing times are really kicking in! They could order their groceries online and have them delivered or also many restaurants have menus available with several services that will deliver to choose from. If they’re not leaving their homes, less chance of catching one of those nasty viruses! Times are changing.

I don’t know about you, but when I had small babies, I was calling my mother frequently for advice. She was the expert I trusted to learn more about fevers, cute ‘ittle rashes or sleeping habits (lack thereof). Daughters/sons today can quickly grab their phones, Google their question and find a variety of solutions/responses. Have telephone calls to mom been greatly reduced? Times are changing.

Surely, you have been up to your elbows in computer challenges that stretched your patience to the limits. I think how quickly seeking answers to technology problems has changed. This story begins with purchasing my two older sons their first computer. I can honestly share I think doing so was a disaster as they were too young. The eldest torn into it in a similar fashion that he did putting together or pulling apart his Legos. I had no idea how to help him put it back together again. Fast forward another decade and I remember helping one of my sons begin using social media. Another decade later, I was calling one of them for assistance with some aspect of using technology on a variety of devices when they failed to work. I enjoyed this shift from being the mom who was supposed to know the answers to their questions to seek out their wisdom. Now, here we are in 2020. I have to admit it took about a dozen phone calls until the message of “Google it mom” finally sunk in. No matter what device it was, the chances that the answer was right there on my phone was pretty likely.

So, each of these shares our changing times and I bet you’ve noticed one similar thread that runs true in each example? Much less human interaction. Will society adjust, reach for new and different ways to have social contacts? Isn’t communicating a societal need?

Feedback Grows All Learners

by 𝕃𝕖𝕧𝕚 𝔸𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕤𝕠𝕟 @levi_allison42

Is feedback important to you? Are you searching for feedback to improve? When do we give our students feedback on their understanding?

Feedback is such a personal moment for individuals. It is the moment that one opens themselves to be judged and to receive feedback on their skills or thoughts. It allows us to gain insight into ourselves that we may otherwise be blind to. Feedback is helpful information communicated from one learner to another to give the best opportunity of growth. This information can be used to direct our learning journey and to improve our understanding.

This is why feedback needs to be consistent, concise and in language that is understood to the individual. Being so personal, it is crucial that feedback is authentic and tied to those individuals learning goals. Feedback can look different for all learners including, providing recommendations for development, corrections and different directions they might take their learning.

Building a Learning Culture

For feedback to be truly effective, a relationship must be built on trust. It must be given with a growth mindset on wanting them to genuinely improve. Teaching our students to give constructive feedback helps build a healthy and safe environment for students to try new things without the fear of failing. An example of how I start teaching students to give constructive feedback is below. This was our first attempt and it was rather successful when students realized specific feedback was much more helpful than “It was good.”

It can help in building a positive relationship between students and teachers. Building an environment for student to teacher and student to student feedback. Boosting engagement and productivity for accomplishing better outcomes with clear strategies to improve upon. Constructive feedback improves student’s self-awareness of their learning by drawing attention to things they could possibly improve upon.

Students giving specific things to work on next time to each other after sharing positive things.

Improves Our Learning Journey

With the help of feedback, all learners can be more successful. By emphasizing the journey and not the product we will be modeling that the process is more important than the product. By giving consistent feedback from self, peer, and teacher, we are showing that our learning process is more important than the end product. Feedback will be viewed as an opportunity to grow and not the end of our learning journey. We all have a room full of experts in various skills and tools. Giving room for those experts to give constructive feedback not only develops their understanding but also helps our students build healthy connections with one another.

I have done this recently in my class by having a Self-Reflection, Peer Feedback and Teacher Feedback done through a Seesaw activity shown below. This was such a success due to our previous work on giving constructive feedback that my students were able to speak specifically about others’ work knowing they would receive a new perspective as well.

Promotes Lifelong Learning

Getting feedback is important in being a lifelong learner. One way I have worked towards being a lifelong learner is by following the #ObserveMe hashtag on Twitter. One day on Twitter, I saw a post about a teacher wanting feedback on their teaching and they created a flyer that was on their door at all times. I knew this is what I wanted to do! I created my flyer on my door that invited people in and asking for feedback on things I was wanting to work on that year. The survey was tied to a QR code that my visitors could scan leaving observations, questions, ideas, and thoughts. It is up for all visitors, teachers, students, and parents alike because everyone might see something different that is important to them.

Mine is shown below and if you would like your own, click here, to get a blank template to start your own #ObserveME journey.

My #ObserveMe Survey that is connected to the QR Code above. It asks for feedback on the 4 questions that I am looking for in my classroom.

Helps Us Grow

Thanks to the feedback from my students, I was able to take their feelings and ideas into account. This enabled me to make positive changes in my classroom to allow them to be more successful. It made me more aware of the challenges my students were facing and gave me a chance to adjust where needed.

When we hear the perspective of our students, we challenge ourselves to learn, overcome, and grow as teachers and leaders in our schools.

Therefore, feedback is imperative for the success of all learners. Consistent and constructive feedback done with a growth mindset builds a learning culture and after all, isn’t that what we all want is learners eager to continue their learning? What do you look for when receiving feedback? How do you give feedback? Let me know down below!

As always continue sharing your learning,

Levi

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Yes! Teachers Across the Globe Are Using Twitter – Are the Leaders Who Surround You Also Learning on Twitter?

By Meredith Johnson @mjjohnson1216 – Moderator of #BookCampPD

Is Twitter the “be all to end all” in terms of professional learning? Of course not. Can it provide tremendous insight into the experiences of others, resources, a sounding board for new ideas and a sense of “team?” You bet it can!

Untitled design (7)

I have learned with others on Twitter for the past seven years. After forty-years in education, one might wonder how much I can learn while exchanging short tweets with other educators? TONS! Their vision and ideas have inspired me to remain involved and help others.

I realized that by “following” others I could expand my circle – my personal learning network, #PLN, even further. With this in mind, there are times when I read an article looking at the author’s name, check out those who are leaders for a publication’s board of directors/trustees or guiding a national conference in leadership positions and I quickly cut and paste their name into a Twitter search so I can also “follow” them. Granted, searching for specific people on Twitter is a bit of an art but over seven years I have become better at it.

mjjohnson1216

Imagine my surprise, time after time, when I found only about 50% of those that are active Twitter users? This is when I tilt my head to the side and ask myself, “Really??!?!” How did they gain these leadership positions without frequently learning with others from across the globe? Surely, they have half an hour once a week to learn using this format so the decisions they make will reflect the thoughts of many. Just this morning, during #LeadUpChat and #LeadLAP, there were over ten educators new to using Twitter starting their learning journey with others. What can we do to encourage/ inspire/enlighten others about the tremendous benefits of this social networking? The college professors who encourage their students to jump into a chat as part of their coursework, I would like to scream from the rooftops, “KUDOS to you!”

Yes, you can make a difference by sharing a consistent message – over and over and over as some people can challenge us and be a ‘ittle stubborn – come learn with us on Twitter!

New Teachers – This One is For You!

by Samantha Fecich

Hello readers!

A book for new teachers just hit the bookshelvesShine on
near you: EduMagic Shine On: A Guide for New
Teachers which was co-written by me and three
former students, now friends: Hannah Sansom, Katy
Gibson, and Hannah Turk. It was written to
encourage and support the new educator, to show them that they are not alone on this journey.
EduMagic Shine On is separated into eight parts,
let’s check them out:

● E – Expectations – During this section, we give you a little dose of reality about expectations for yourself, your learners, and your classroom. We begin with a prompt for readers to reflect upon about how college shaped their expectations as a teacher, leader, and learner. Then we dive into each of those expectations and reflect on how we can make them a reality.

● D – Dealing with disappointments – Maybe that’s a word you don’t want to think about
as you are starting the “honeymoon” phase of a new job. But we want to be real and
honest and, like with anything, disappointments will come. This chapter is simply a “survival guide” per se, not something that we intend to intimidate you or cause worry.
Throughout this chapter, we discuss some pit stops that you may encounter along the
journey of your first year of teaching. Remember, these are pit stops; we don’t stay; we
just make a quick stop and keep moving forward.

● U – Unstoppable – There will be days in teaching that bring you such tremendous joy
that your face will hurt from smiling so much. Days when a child “gets it,” and you can
see that lightbulb moment happen. Days where you get a hand-drawn picture, card, or gift for no other reason than just because. This chapter was the most difficult to write and work through and deals with some heavy topics, but we want to be able to share our
experiences with you even when they are hard so that you can know that you are not
alone.

● M – Making it work – We’ve done some thoughtful reflection of some hard truths of
teaching. There is a lot to think about leading up to and living out that first year:
expectations, planning, routines, management, and having a life outside of school. Time
to think about all those components of teaching and how they come together. We will do
a crash course on making it all work: from classroom management to your own sanity.

 
● A – All in This Together – Building Collaboration – Our students come to school with
so many needs and goals. It is up to us to work with our colleagues towards the main goal of educating students the best that we can, keeping students at the forefront.
Collaboration is key in order to provide the best student-centered education. This can
happen through partnerships, co-teachers, administration, and families.

 
● G – Getting ready – One of the biggest ideas new teachers look forward to completing
is…drum roll please…setting up your OWN classroom! You finally have that set of keys and space to make your own. This section has checklists upon checklists to help you get
ready for that first day of school and beyond!

 
● I – inspiration – We know that teaching can be hard — no one said it would be easy. It
has been a long road to even get to your own classroom, and now it’s not exactly a walk in the park either. But keeping your inspiration, your “why” in the front of your mind will help you get through the days that feel long. Inspiration is like a fountain; while you are there and you are drinking from it, it seems like you will never be thirsty again! We share ways to inspire yourself, inspiring students, and drawing inspiration from others.

 
● C – Check yo’self – We leave you with a few more tips, specifically on how to be the
best possible version of yourself. Living and learning the teaching experience is very
rewarding, but will also sometimes come with unfilled expectations, disappointments,
and a long to-do list. Friends, those are all part of life.

This book is laid with places to reflect and journal. It shares real accounts and stories from first-year teachers in their own words. All accounts and stories from first-year teachers in their own words. These teachers share advice, tangible tips, and resources that you can get your hands on right away and implement them into your classroom today. In addition, throughout the book, we have little sections for making the magic happen, where we share a quick tip for each section of EduMagic. You can purchase this book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. There you have it! I hope that this article inspired, encouraged, and supported you. Teachers, you got this; you have the EduMagic in you!

Books Calling to You From the Shelf

by Meredith Johnson

Do you ever sense one of your favorite books calling to you from the bookshelf where you placed it? It is like suddenly thinking about an old, cherished friend and quickly dashing off a text message to that person or calling them to be sure they knew you were thinking of them. The same warm, treasured emotions rise to the forefront. Can a book be like an old friend? Many of the professional books I have read seemed to “take my hand” and slowly guide me through new learning experiences that would be rolled out time and again to help children. So, to me, it appeared to be a friendship between myself and the author.

This morning, I read a blog post by Jeff Zoul. https://jeffreyzoul.blogspot.com/2019/09/sometimes-things-happen.html In the posting he referred to a book he had written with Anthony McConnell The Principled Principal:  10 Principles for Leading Exceptional Schools. When I saw the graphic of the book, a smile came across my face – as if I was seeing an old friend who had helped guide me at one point in my life. There is so much wisdom in that book!

book the principled principal

The experience of running across that book shifted the rocks around in my head and I suddenly came up with an idea. The chat #BookCampPD has focused on over fifty amazing professional learning books like the one Jeff and Anthony wrote. Many of the authors, like these two, Pam Moran, Rachelle Dene Poth, and others have continued to support the weekly chat #BookCampPD and the members of our #PLN. The website contains all these books and most of them, resources and a link to purchase. Since nearly all the books we have reviewed were selected by educators like you, they must be like your “old friends.” So, my idea is to have each book spotlighted for one day at our hashtag #BookCampPD. Of course, you could always jump over to the page on our website that contains all of them https://bookcamppd.com/books-to-read/ along with resources and a link to purchase. Or, as the tweet with a graphic of a book slides across your screen perhaps it will be like hearing it call to you from your bookshelf?

To all the authors and educators who continue to support #BookCampPD, please know how very much you are appreciated! ♥ Follow the hashtag each day and show your support for all of the authors whose books will again be in the spotlight!

Twitter Chats

Reflections About Twitter Chats by Meredith Johnson

What is all this noise about Twitter chats for educators? This past week I briefly scrolled through over 200 education hashtags to review the content they were posting. One after another, my cursor flew across all those tweets. It was an interesting task and I wanted to write a blog post to share with you what I learned. Is Twitter transforming before our eyes?

Are there repetitions from one hashtag to another? You bet there are! A great deal of what is shared between chats could be considered advertising. People reach out to others to sell a product, encourage them to go to a conference, participate in their chat, read an article or blog they wrote, and keep them up to date with books that have been written. At times, moderators post tweets between chats sharing who the next guest/topic would be or the name of some amazing educator who agrees to be a guest moderator. There could be a graphic sharing the change in a date/time/occurrence of a chat. All this information shared for about 150 education chats that are on Twitter! Amazing!

What are some of the interesting pieces of chat information I noticed? I have been active on Twitter since March, 2012 – seven years and it has been very interesting to watch Twitter evolve. After searching out a hashtag that I hadn’t seen before from a list of Twitter chats, and scrolling through the most recent tweets, I noticed others seemed to “grab” that hashtag title, glop it with about half a dozen more, and tweet out information they believe is important in hopes of reaching the largest amount of people in one message. This could certainly be an effective way to communicate but there is one huge problem – no one ever goes to that hashtag as the chat stopped occurring years ago. Perhaps, another person notices this tweet, and they also cut and paste the hashtag into a message they want to share – the ineffective sharing of information continues! Now, if they thought about what target audience might be interested, searched out that chat hashtag and used it to share a message, this sure would increase effectiveness!

There are countless reasons why chats drop to the wayside in Twitter Land hallways. Often people begin a hashtag, start a chat, promote whatever mission they’re on and then move to the next project in their lives and forget about it. It will be interesting to see if this process increases during the next year.

How I would love to do a study on the number of teachers using Twitter from each State! I mention this as I have noticed the tweets being shared by specific State hashtags such as #OhioEdChat or #TxEd different greatly from West Virginia or Alabama. What factors play a role in one State in our country having teachers so active in Twitter chat participation and another not? Is it their overall focus on professional learning of educators? Are teachers in only a few states granted professional development credit toward certification renewal for participation in Twitter chats? Are the chat moderators from those States different in some way? I bet you could make a few guesses yourself as to why this happens.

I wonder about several things ….

Where is the higher education voice in Twitter chats?

Why are topics of chats/questions so similar?

Use of conference hashtags has increased tremendously – what direction will this trend take?

How important is it to focus on tweeting high-quality, valuable content or are “feel good” tweets just as important?

How are teachers making decisions about which chats to join? What might cause them to return week after week?

What aspect of Twitter chats do you wonder about?

How will this social media platform adjust over the next year to better meet the needs of those who use it?

I hope you will find the database of education Twitter chats I created helpful and share it out in tweets you create with others.

https://bookcamppd.com/twitter-hashtag-search/

Reflecting on Helping Others by Meredith Johnson and friends

I worked with hundreds of teachers who retired – why did I so rarely wonder what they did with their lives once they were finished teaching? School administration can be all-encompassing, so my thoughts were usually focused on the next challenge rather than retiring co-workers. I remember being so thrilled when a retired teacher would appear in the school’s office area and I could inquire, “Is there really life after working in education?” They would smile and share with me that indeed there was. I would probe deeper and ask, “What do you do with your time?” Many times, they weren’t specific, which would puzzle me, and simply share that they were plenty busy each day. I remember sitting in administration meetings where details about our pending contract negotiations talks would include statistics about possible retirement benefits. I would wave my hands through the air and ask the men present if we couldn’t talk about something related to students as this discussion was boring. They would laugh and ask me if I wasn’t concerned about my own retirement benefits. “Oh, for goodness sakes, no, I am not. That won’t arrive until decades from now. Let’s talk about something interesting!” The years zoomed by at lightning speed and suddenly I was standing at the edge of beginning my own retirement.

When I was fortunate to have two weeks away from being at a school, I would quickly become bored and want to return. I thought this was what being retired would feel like, so I wasn’t looking forward to it at all. This month marks two years of retirement for me and I am content with how I am daily involved in education with a caring group of individuals on Twitter. Yesterday, one of the educators I had met on Twitter sent me soaring into space with a message she tweeted out.

From Cathleen Beachboard @CathleenBeachBd

Just wanted you to know I am dedicating my upcoming book to you. We are now in production to print. If it was not for you and allowing me to guest blog, I would not have had the courage. You didn’t know you made such a difference, but you did. Thank you, Meredith

It’s about student empowerment. I know you don’t know me very well Meredith but within the past 5 years, I’ve completely changed my practice in teaching. At one point in time, I was 285 lb and a student asked me to lose weight because he didn’t want me to die. So, my students help me to lose a ton of weight and through that journey, I discovered ways to empower students through service learning. The book will be coming out with Routledge publishing. It’s entitled 10 keys to student empowerment. However, I would never have had the guts to do it if I did not have the opportunity to do that guest blog post that I did for you. Even though it was a little thing you did for me it inspired me. It gave me the confidence to tell my story. I wanted to acknowledge you and even though it’s a small thing it’s my way of appreciating you. I just submitted the entire manuscript for publication today. Today I start the book publication process. However, as I go through it, I will keep you updated. Thank you for being awesome.

Can you imagine how thrilled I was? Then today, I receive the following tweet from Bridget Gengler @BridgetGengler

blog post 6-6-19 2

The exchange begins with me asking the question, “Who do you think believes in you each day?” Bridget responded, “Oh! So many people .. my husband, first and foremost. My family and close friends push me each day, Just as I believe in my students, they believe in me. They cheer me on every day. We need those people in our lives just like our students do.” Then I continued the conversation by adding Adam Welcome’s graphic. Bridget closes out the exchange by sharing that she considers me one of her “pushers!” What an absolute honor!

coaches who push and encourage

These are the discussions that make my day! I may not walk the hallways of school buildings any longer, but I am thankful to have found a way to continue in helping others.

Meredith Johnson
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