Teacher Twitter CPD
How to get started and use Twitter to reinvigorate your teaching practice.
Twitter had never been by my preferred social media outlet of choice but about 18 months ago I discovered Twitter as a teacher and it has been a revelation!
So, what's so good about it?
I never cease to be amazed by how generous other professionals are with sharing their resources and ideas on Twitter. Even a quick search under your subject area will reveal a wealth of lesson ideas and resources that can save you hours of time and avoid reinventing the wheel. With time our most precious commodity, it is well worth investing the few minutes it would take to search up the topic you are teaching next; there will be a high quality resource there and it will be free! Whatever is next on your to-do list professionally, someone on Twitter will probably have done it before and reflected on their experience and shared their ideas, giving you a range of advice outside of your bubble.
It is also a great place to engage in current thinking about pedagogy. It is easy to become stuck in a rut and we all find ourselves too busy to find the time to reflect about some of the principles that underpin our practice or current research into ways of learning. A quick scroll through Edu-Twitter and you can brush up on current thinking with links to articles and any number of fantastic teacher bloggers, willing to share their thoughts and ideas.
Are there any drawbacks?
It is easy to get sucked into the Twitter bubble and believe that everyone you are following has more time than you and is somehow a better teacher and human being as it can appear that they manage to teach amazing lessons all day, every day, whilst also holding down a range of management positions, having kids and a range of stimulating hobbies! Just remember to take a step back every once in a while.
As with any social media, you can quite easily find that a couple of hours have passed and you are still on your phone scrolling through tweets for amazing retrieval practice ideas, or the next new idea that will revolutionise your teaching. A further issue is that you can also find yourself with a massive folder of saved articles and ideas 'for later' or 'it will be useful one day'. It can be easy to feel a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information that is available online, so setting some sensible boundaries on what you need and how long you will spend can be useful - just like we tell our students and our own children!
If you are new to Twitter, there are very simple to follow instructions in the attached Guardian article on creating an account. If you already have an account there are some suggestions below as to whom to follow and relevant hashtags for specific subject areas. It is a good idea to follow everyone initially and you'll soon pick up whom you like and whom they follow; you can always unfollow someone further down the line!
There are a number of other useful links and articles below that will help you get going. If you need any help getting set up on Twitter, please do ask, I'm happy to help.