Twitter: Confessions of an unjustified sceptic

I joined Twitter 60 days ago today. I’d put it off for nearly two years as I thought it was either a vehicle for shadowing celebrities, or a mindless activity in which people spent their time telling each other what they had for breakfast.

How wrong I was!!

In the intervening period I’ve come to realise that it’s a unique learning resource – and I talk as someone who has written over 900 posts on my Learning Log. By discovering others throughout the World who share a passion for education, tracking their thoughts, following their links, and engaging in productive conversations – I have been inspired, challenged and professionally invigorated.

The other – possibly most surprising outcome – has been that it has proved to be an engine for policy development. This happened in a completely organic manner yesterday morning. Sitting over a post-breakfast cup of coffee I spied an interesting tweet from that dynamic educational practitioner and thinker in the form of Fearghal Kelly. The tweet pointed to his most recent post on A Framework for Learning and Teaching.

Over the next hour I engaged in a conversation with Fearghal and others from throughout the twittisphere which culminated in the #Learnmeet concept being identified, agreed and committed to action. Not bad for a Saturday morning.

Added to that are a series of conversations which helped to shape a first draft of a senior high school curriculum policy – which is now about to go out for consultation using more traditional lines of communication.

Taken together these examples have shown me that we must embrace Twitter and encourage other colleagues to engage in the dialogue about our practice which can have such a positive impact upon our work, the quality of education we can provide, and – I would suggest – our well being. For too often professionals who wish to engage in professional dialogue can be isolated in their work setting if no-one shares their enthusiasm. With the use of Twitter we have the opportunity to challenge that sense of isolation and create a tipping point where dialogue about education becomes the norm.

To all on Twitter who have made me feel most welcome, thank you.