Six months ago I was the biggest Twitter skeptic. Six months ago I was also an overwhelmed environmentalist who felt that bringing about change in Cambodia was nigh impossible.
I always assumed that Twitter would be another internet time-waster for me where I would be subjected to a plethora of inane information. It wasn’t until I started to see how my partner @matthewdolmont used Twitter as a tool to connect with tech coaches around the world that I began to change my mind. His Twitter feed was a source of inspiration for lessons and he was able to share his own resources with the world.
He encouraged me to start my own Twitter account and he gave me some solid advice:
- It’s not Facebook. Do not feel the need to follow friends or family.
- Use Twitter as a tool for professional learning. Follow the people you respect in this field. Then follow the people they’re following.
- Find your “niche” and follow the people who fit in that niche.
- Unfollow people if they are not contributing to your professional learning.
- Don’t spend hours on Twitter. Check it once in a while for a few minutes whenever you feel like it.
Within an hour I was following a vast network of environmental educators. The next day I participated in my very first #EnviroEd chat with strangers from around the world. Within a month, I was sharing resources with some of these people and bouncing ideas of how we could improve student learning.
I was hooked. I no longer felt so isolated. I now had a support network of people from around the world who shared the same worldviews as me. My fire, my passion for environmental education, was relit. It has translated into the work that I do at this school. I’m now more motivated than ever to put in the hard work to bring about change in this community.
I’ve expanded the network of people I follow to include colleagues, IB educators, experts in the field, and so on. How cool is it to connect with people who are as passionate as you about teaching and learning and to have a digital window into their classrooms? It’s inspiring!
So, I hope you will take the plunge – trust me, you won’t regret it!