Twitter Chats for Recertification

Good PD is authentic, personalized, & timely. As are Twitter chats. Let's help all teachers engage in the power of the PLN.

Photo of Matthew Drewette-Card

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If you're seeing this, you are probably on Twitter.  But what about the millions of teachers in the world who aren't connected?  Who are intimidated?  Who don't see the value?  Who are lost when it comes to meaningful tech integration; not because it's a choice, but because they are intimidated, overwhelmed, and unsure of its value?  How might we connect the unconnected?

#WhatIf we worked to allow participation and engagement in educational or content-based Twitter Chats for teacher recertification purposes?  

If we are going to reimagine PD, let's look at the world as it is, and build around what we have to get to where we need to go.  Twitter Chats are free; timely; accessible; engaging; and THE BEST source of professional development I have ever had.  Let's build a PD environment that not only celebrates and honors the time educators spend on them, but encourages those unconnected to get connected and build a bigger, deeper PLN.

Let's systemically encourage connection and professional development AT ALL TIMES to support a globalized-learning mindset.  Innovation comes from collaboration, engagement, the sharing of ideas, a deep-level of content knowledge, and, to quote Wayne Gretzky, "skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it is."  

In order to make this work, there are two different ways and means in which to "sell" this to a district: The Criteria approach, and the Value approach:

  • Criteria approach
    • Who
      • Principal, Certification Committee, other school/district leadership
    • What
      • Identify the current criteria for issuing recertification hours, and align the "pitch" to those criteria.
        • Example:
          • CRITERIA: All PD for certification must have direct and explicit instructional/classroom alignment
          • PITCH: "Twitter Chats, like #sblchat, #dtk12chat, #edchatme, #1to1techat, #ReImaginePD, and #dtk12chat are all intentionally and explicitly focused on improving instruction, designing curriculum and assessment, improving educational systems, providing new and sharing existing resources, collaborative problem-solving, connecting globally, and creating innovative solutions and ideas."
            • Click the links to see examples of archived Twitter Chats using Storify.com.
      • Identify and defend the financial implications
        • $0.00
          • No substitute teachers needed.
          • No registration fees.
          • No travel reimbursements.
          • All of the benefits of a conference, without the financial burden.
  • Value approach
    • Time
      • Classroom instructional time isn't lost
      • Twitter chats are variable in time, depending on the topic/content.  This allows flexibility in choosing which chats to engage.
      • Direct connection to local, national, and global experts.
    • Connections
      • Teachers are not alone in anything they are trying to do.  Using Twitter and Twitter Chats are easy means to connect to a community of people trying to solve the exact same problems they are.
    • Personalization
      • Teachers have voice in their learning which creates greater immersion in the topic and passion.

Here's how to include accountability into this idea:

1) Use Storify to archive the chat and provide evidence of participation

2) Provide a short summary of what was learned

3) Develop an action plan for implementing changes as a result of what was learned/discussed (this gets shared with building administration).

4) These are submitted monthly and/or bi-monthly.


Attachments (1)

Twitter Chats for Recertification2.pdf

This is the basic proposal I brought to my school district's recertification committee.

12 comments

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Photo of Avnita Bir
Team

Matthew Drewette-Card PD program for teachers by teachers can work wonders. The connect is that much more as they tackle real time common problems. The buy-in therefore is stronger. 

Photo of Matthew Drewette-Card
Team

I agree wholeheartedly.  The true power of learning doesn't come from instruction or resources; it comes from autonomy, independence, freedom, and choice.

Photo of William Ferriter
Team

Hey Matthew, 

I'm definitely with you that Twitter can be a valuable form of learning for classroom teachers.  What I think is best is that it shows teachers that anytime/anywhere learning is possible -- and when teachers get that notion through first hand experience, they are more likely to reimagine learning spaces for their kids. 

A few years back, I developed a handout for tracking the impact that participation in Twitter had on my own learning:

http://digitallyspeaking.pbworks.com/f/SM_Handout_TrackingSMPD.pdf

Might be a good idea to come up with something similar for your project.  Convincing teachers that they are learning in social spaces isn't hard to do.  Convincing district level leaders to count it as recertification credits is a different story!  

Hope this helps, 
Bill
@plugusin

Photo of Ellen Deutscher
Team

I LOVE this!! Sounds corny, but twitter changed my life! Normally I consider myself the "unfrozen caveman teacher," just ask Dan Ryder. Mary Cantwell taught me how to get on twitter one summer and it took me a full year to start using it regularly. I have met and learned with the most incredible educators, designers, and all around good people! It is a true example of authentic learning. The idea of using this for credit is awesome in so many ways. It gives teachers ownership and voice, honors and trusts their professional choices as learners, etc, etc. Creating a formalized way for teachers to do this easily and efficiently and get credit for it... yes please!

Photo of Ellen Deutscher
Team

I wonder if these twitter chat communities could also be built out into in-person conference/ed-camp learning experiences.

Photo of Matthew Drewette-Card
Team

The learning that can come from a Twitter chat can be a great driver for PD opportunities in a district-setting.  Spark teacher curiosity w/ Twitter; bring it to an EdCamp-style faculty meeting or conference; repeat!  Love it!!! 

Photo of Margaret Powers
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The idea of a teacher's Twitter time being valued and formally supported by educational leaders and recertification sounds wonderful! And .. I wonder in some ways about how to protect it? As you've already discussed below, each district has different requirements for re/certification and if Twitter chats become a place to get that type of credit, how might we protect the authentic conversations from changing into checkboxes that help teachers just "get it done" and also change the questions that get asked into the specific ones district leaders think need to be asked/answered to get the credit? Twitter is my all-time favorite PD resource and I think it's extremely powerful. I just want to think of the "yes, and" piece of how to preserve the current power it holds through its focus on building relationships and collaborative sharing while also giving teachers credit and value for their time there.

Photo of Michael Schurr
Team

Matthew,

I love this idea. I have only recently, last 8 months, discovered the power of twitter. Ive gone from a couple followers to over 800 and from following a few to over a thousand. What I love most about twitter is learning from ppl outside of the world of education.

This idea really speaks to me, especially the personalization and no cost. The biggest question I have about twitter chats as PD is accountability. How to we measure impact? engagement? What is the impact on student learning?

I also wonder how we celebrate those who are using a new approach to life long learning within our schools. Should these individuals run brief workshops about the power of twitter? Should they be recognized publicly? Could there be a point person who teaches colleagues how to engage in twitter chats and build their network to their specific interests and passions? Essentially, lets flesh out the "build a PD environment" portion of your idea. Really make it sing! Happy to help in anyway I can. I truly believe twitter is a powerful resource for educators and one that is largely under utilized.

Photo of Matthew Drewette-Card
Team

Thanks, Michael. I specifically/intentionally didn't put in a piece about "accountability" in the idea because each district/state is different in how accountability works for certification/recertification. In my district, a committee oversees all recertification of teachers and approves/denies whether or not a workshop, course, etc. will be approved for meeting the recertification hours. Here's what I am proposing in my district for accountability and recertification hours:


1) Use Storify to archive the chat and provide evidence of participation
2) Provide a short summary of what was learned
3) Develop an action plan for implementing changes as a result of what was learned/discussed (this gets shared with building administration).
4) These are submitted monthly and/or bi-monthly.

Also, I agree that each district would need a Twitter champion/point person to get people signed in, teach how to use it, etc. I think that using an EdCamp model for faculty meetings (instead of the traditional sit & get... (see what I submitted in "Discover" for resources for this challenge FMI)) would help facilitate getting people in and seeing the power of the Twitter PLN.

Photo of Michael Schurr
Team

YES! I completely understand that it changes from district to district and school to school. I am actually in an independent school and I know our "requirements" are vastly different from other schools in the area.

Would you want to continue to flesh this idea out with me? We could work in a google doc and update your original post as we add and build on the idea. A few things I would want to think about are:

Overview: (What’s this idea about)

Potential For Impact: (Why is this an idea that encourages continued growth and life long learning?)

Value Prop/Pitch: (How would you pitch this to other teachers in your school? Your principal? Etc)

How’d you get this idea off the ground?

Obviously, a lot of this work has already been done. I would just want to organize this thread of conversation into a concise post for anyone to read and understand the what, how, why of this idea. Let me know what you think. If you want to collaborate, I would just need your email. You could DM me on twitter.

Photo of Matthew Drewette-Card
Team

I'll send you a DM shortly. Also, I added a .pdf of the short proposal I used in my district for replication/feedback purposes. Review that, & lets make something amazing!

Photo of Michael Schurr
Team

The PDF is fantastic. We will be able to extract some of the details for the post. It is also a great resource for other schools to understand the approach, accountability, and reasoning. Looking really good!