One of my favourite sayings regarding CPD and training is this:
“What if we spend time and money training this member of staff really well and they leave?”
“What if we don’t and they stay?”
Every school, every workplace has those members of staff that work hard; that continually seek to improve themselves by reading about their role or attending teachmeets; and that know that their job is not just 9:00 until 4:00. There are also the other members of staff that do the job and go home. They have no desire to read about work when they finish – why would they? It’s a fair question and often the response I get when talking about twitter for education purposes.
I use social networks to chill out, to chat with my friends, to see photos of my family or to see people getting soaked by buckets of water. Why do I want to spend my precious time seeing what other educators are doing? Besides, I’ve got lessons to plan and resources to find!
Well, what if I told you you didn’t have to spend ages trying to find resources online or trying in vain to find a specific document? That’s what Twitter is so good for. I use Facebook for sharing photos and seeing what old pals are up to; I use twitter as my PLN: Personal Learning Network . But there’s little point in preaching the positives of twitter and edunetworks to you, you already use them. We need you to target those members of staff that don’t use it.
So, how can you get them involved? How can you get them to convert? First of all, wax lyrical about it: get them hooked into the benefits of it. I have been asked a question in the staffroom before and have tweeted that same question. Minutes later, I’ve had an answer or a link. A great demonstration of how your PLN works. For this to work well, you obviously need followers – that’s where you tag someone else. Us. or @ukedchat or any of the people you follow that you will soon learn will help you.
Your job (the expert):
1: Show them the power of a PLN
2: Offer to set it up for them… they may not be that savvy or that inclined. It takes minutes to do together on a smartphone.
3: Point them in the direction of some decent posts to read. They need to be quick and easy to read but with relevant points. This one of @syded06 is one of our favourites.
4: Get them to tweet you at first, a question you can share. Make it useful. Make it fun. Show them #coolpoints – utterly pointless but amusing nonetheless.
5: Check back on them in a day or two. Just as you would a child who has learnt something new.
A few years ago, they wouldn’t have used Facebook because it looked too scary or would take up too much time. Now, it’s second nature – their use of twitter as an edutool needs to be like that.
Finally, if you sign someone up to Twitter or have encouraged someone to take hold of their account once more, introduce them to us @batttuk – we follow any educators back.
Remember, Twitter is for life, not just for this week.
Educator Networking Week – Word Doc Poster