Editors Note: I know that I am preaching to the choir since most people that read this are on Twitter already.
In the past week much has been made of the fact that as an Orthodox Jewish Educator living in Memphis TN. that I have over 1,300 followers on Twitter. Yes I am still amazed and humbled by this fact and at times when I am asked why people follow me I have a tough time answering.
However when I am asked why I tweet or what I tweet about the answer is easy. I tell people I mostly tweet about education and leadership and through my exposure on Twitter I have grown as an educator. I have created a group on the EDUPLN web site (edupln.com) for Judaic Studies teachers, I have joined and presented for Connected Principles, and most importantly I have developed an amazing PLN.
The message I have to my fellow educators is join me on this amazing journey. Get a Twitter account, follow other educators, join the EDUPLN,and start a blog. The sky is the limit and the wealth of knowledge out there is amazing. Why reinvent the wheel if it has been done already. I read an article yesterday in which @NMHSPrincipal is mentioned and tells how teachers in his school are sharing and asking for lesson plans via twitter. How cool is that!
There are many great things about Twitter; the sense of collaboration, friendship, and an overall safe environment where taking risks is encouraged. However the greatest thing is a sense of sharing and humility. People are willing to share ideas with others. Too often teachers and administrators seek honor and credit and therefore lack the trait of humility and are unwilling to share. If the 21st Century is the time that we need to focus on people skills and leadership as expressed in the books “Curriculum 21” and “The Leader In Me”, and if the right brain will truly rule with traits like empathy as mentioned in Daniel Pink’s book “A Whole New Mind” then we as educators need to model these traits and I believe sharing ideas and working together with others is a great place to start and that is the culture that exists on Twitter.
There are definitely issues with how Social Media should be used but in my honest opinion if the culture created by educators and leaders on Twitter was modeled in our schools we would be well on the way to educating the future leaders of 21st Century.