Friday, January 3, 2014

BC3 - A Website I Can't Live Without

It is so hard to pick just one! But since this is today's challenge (thanks to Kelly Hines), I choose Twitter. Why you ask? Well, because of Twitter and the amazing PLN (personal learning network) I've created since joining in 2009, my teaching has been transformed.

Twitter offers me professional development (PD) 24/7. If I need a resource for my classroom, a read aloud book recommendation, have a tech question, need to understand the lastest tool or app, I turn to Twitter for help.

Because of tweets sent out by members of my PLN, I've been able to attend conference sessions that are being lived streamed while I sit in the comfort of my home. I've learned about the newest innovative strategies such as the "flipped classroom".  I've been invited to participate in webinars, podcasts, and presentations far and wide. I've been lead to the best resources to help me implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). I've learned how to use webtools in my classroom such as Edmodo, Thinglink, animoto, and Google Hangouts.

I love participating I edchats on Twitter. I am a moderator for  #4thchat on Mondays at 7 PM CST and am one of the hosts for #DENchat on Thursdays at 7 PM CST. Through these chats, which are focused around a weekly topic for discussion, I am continually learning new things which I can take back to my classroom.

My friend, Steven W. Anderson (@web20classroom), shared a very helpful hint for those of you who aren't on Twitter, or who have an account but don't "get" Twitter. He suggests to go to and enter a hashtag such as #edchat, #4thchat, #engchat, #CCSS, and just view the tweets that hashtag will generate. In seconds you have a stream of tweets organized around a hashtag which relates to something you what to know more about. The tweets will often include links to articles, websites, blog posts, etc. which will help you learn more about the topic.

Some resources to help you learn to love Twitter as much as I do:

  1. An Educator's Guide to Twitter (Livebinder) by Steven W. Anderson @web20classroom
  2. How to Participate in an Twitter Chat (blog post) by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher
  3. Index to Educational Hashtags (Google Doc) by Chiew Pang @aClilToClimb
  4. Cybrary Man's Educational Web Sites - Twitter by Jerry Blumengarten @cybraryman1
Do you love Twitter as much as I do? Why/Why not? What is you favorite website?