Here's the short story: I asked a question, and heaps more people replied than I ever expected.
I've been active on twitter for a while now, but often go through drought conditions and floods. I do make sure that I check my feed at least once every day, and make sure I follow up on any notifications if any coming along - I hate the feeling of leaving somebody hanging out there.
Last night Cherie (@Cherie59789095) made the following tweet:
#ulearn15 Reflections:Is twitter dominated by the 'education elite'?Is social media changing access 2 edn 4 all or just reinforcing elitism?— Cherie (@Cherie59789095) October 9, 2015
I thought that was really interesting, and offered my own 20 cents, as did others. To cut a long story short, some of us came to the conclusions that twitter is generally a welcoming environment, and the majority of us do not act in an 'elitist' manner.
Now I'm going to play devil's advocate. We've heard people say that twitter is an echo chamber (read this article) in that you hear want you want to hear, and that those who are paying attention to you are those who will agree with you anyway. So is this true for teachers using twitter, and more specifically, in New Zealand? My first thought is no, but hang on...
Can we really know what others think of us? I talk to people at my school about using twitter and how they should give it a go, but I am often meet with "I find that stuff too confusing" or "I don't have time" or the classic "That stuff is a waste of time, just full of people who want to show off." I disagree. Twitter is not confusing once you get going, you can always make time (it's not that hard) and it is not full of people showing off - read this post, shared to me by Stephanie (@traintheteacher).
Yes, there are some show-ponies out there, but then there is in real-life. You don't spend time hanging out with people you don't like, so don't do it on twitter either. The key is finding the right people to follow, and ignoring the rubbish. Surround yourself with the best people for you, those that will help you and support you - this applies to twitter and in real-life.
@robeanne @mjbuckland @Cherie59789095 @st3ph007 @melulater @arti_choke @ginippi in the end who you follow important pic.twitter.com/QDGhSDpwMD— Stephanie (@traintheteacher) October 9, 2015
To me, the picture says it all, the essence of what can make twitter such a great professional tool for us. You have access to some pretty amazing educators out there. Jump in, make time, and I promise that you will find it time well spent in the years to come.