Last week I participated in a Hangout-on-air iPad art lesson, was in another Hangout with art teachers I had never met f2f, and went to my first EdCamp in NYC. (And met some Twitter Rock Stars!)Really!Well, how did that happen??? I reflected upon it last week.
I have been teaching for a pretty long time. I don’t even want to admit how long. I started as a classroom teacher, beginning my career in kindergarten and first grade. After I got my Master’s in Art Education, I landed an art job in an elementary school. My teaching and personal art work really bloomed after that.
I have always loved learning something new about teaching and I love going to various conferences: art education, HOT Schools Institutes, technology….
So, about two years ago, I attended a full day technology conference for teachers with a few colleagues, went to a session named “Twitter for PD and your Classroom” (or something like that) and the teacher presenting told us how she used Twitter with her students, and , uh, by the way, you can use it for PD too. Hmmm. So when I got home (or perhaps it was on my way home in the car, I was a passenger) I opened an account on Twitter and poked around a bit… did not see what was in it for me. Twitter was waaaay too complicated. Ok, maybe I used it to spy on my teenagers to see what they were up to, but that was it.
Fast forward to sometime this year at the end of May. I was reading “THE Journal” or some other techie publication and came across #EdTechChat …..and the whole concept of educators talking about stuff on Twitter. Huh? Now that was something I had to try.
June 3, 2013 was the day I participated in my first #EdTechChat. And that is where I learned about the power of the hashtag: by using one! And I learned how welcoming other educators on Twitter can be, thanks to @s_bearden and @iplante, two of the founders of EdTechChat! If they had not been so welcoming that night, I might not be so connected today. I certainly wouldn’t have EVER had my awesome connected week…which I still cannot believe really happened.