Recently, I offered my colleagues a professional development course called Learning to Tweet like a Rock Star! This course was modeled from the AASL course that is offered by Jane Lofton (@jane_librarian). I took her course in 2015. During the class, I learned the awesome power that Twitter can have on my teaching and learning. Ever since, I have tried to share these experiences with others. Ultimately, I decided I needed to do more than share. I needed to teach.
Looking at the Future Ready Librarian Framework, you will see a wedge for Personalized Professional Learning. It states that the librarian will “Lead professional learning to cultivate broader understanding of the skills that comprise success in a digital age” (“Future Ready Librarians”). When reflecting on where I needed to improve as a Future Ready Librarian, I found this wedge needed some work. I decided that Twitter would be a good place to start due to its ability to have a large impact in a short amount of time.
I created four sessions for faculty, with each session lasting thirty minutes. In addition, the participants had homework each week that allowed them to practice what we learned.
The Launch: At a faculty meeting, I was able to present the class format. I shared why Twitter has been so helpful to me as an educator and what we would learn over the course of four weeks. Then, I sent out a Google Form to sign up.
Week 1: During the first class, we covered vocabulary related to Twitter and how to set up an awesome profile. We made sure that everyone had a profile picture! No eggs allowed! Check out the slides from week 1.
Week 2: This week, we jumped into the various ways to tweet and when you might do each. We practiced tweeting something we had been working on in our classrooms! Check out the slides from week 2.
Week 3: During this class, we worked on adding followers, tweeting using hashtags, and how to shorten a link. Check out the slides from week 3.
Week 4: For our final session, we started by playing trivia about what participants had learned. They won some not-so-fabulous prizes in the form of school supplies. Then, we had a short Twitter chat to simulate what it is like to participate in a chat. The questions allowed them to reflect on their learning. Check out the slides from week 4.
Originally, around ten people signed up to take the class. In the end, only five people completed the course. Some of the challenges to participation related to time and schedules. For those who completed the course, they have an understanding of what Twitter can do for them. They have expanded their PLN and that can only benefit their students. So I say mission accomplished!
Here are several resources I used during the class:
Blumengarten, Jerry. “Some Educational Hashtags.” Educational Hash Tags, cybraryman.com/edhashtags.html. Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.
Currie, Brad, et al. 140 Twitter Tips for Educators: Get Connected, Grow Your Professional Learning Network and Reinvigorate Your Career. San Diego, CA, Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc., 2016.
“The Complete Guide to Twitter Hashtags for Education.” TeachThought, www.teachthought.com/twitter-hashtags-for-teacher/. Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.
“Future Ready Librarians.” Future Ready Schools, Alliance for Excellent Education, futureready.org/about-the-effort/librarians/. Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.
Jones, Gwyneth. “Twitter: The Art of the Follow.” The Daring Librarian, 26 Nov. 2010, www.thedaringlibrarian.com/2010/11/twitter-to-follow-to-listen-to-learn-to.html. Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.
Jones, Gwyneth. “6 Tips to a Super Twitter Profile.” The Daring Librarian, 28 Feb. 2016, www.thedaringlibrarian.com/2016/02/super-twitter-profile.html. Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.
Author: Kelly Hincks
I am the librarian at Detroit Country Day Lower School in Bloomfield Hills, MI. I have worked as a librarian for the past eleven years. I was a classroom teacher for four years prior to that. I have worked in charter, public, and private schools. My favorite thing about being a librarian is the opportunities I have to work both with students and teachers. I love the co-teaching opportunities and connections I have been able to make! I have served on AASL committees as a member and chair. I currently serve as secretary of my state association, MAME.