Friday, February 12, 2010

What Snow Days Are Good For

My family, my friends, my colleagues, and my students joke about it behind my back.

I am a Twitter geek.

I love how I've been able to grow my personal learning network (PLN) as a direct result of the connections, advice, and resources I've gained by participating regularly in Twitter. The community of teachers, bloggers, educational and technology professionals that I follow have helped me grow immensely as a writer, a thinker, a teacher - as a person. I am indebted to my Twitter friends.

As my family, friends, fellow teachers and students also know - I am always a teacher. I can't seem to turn that part of my brain off. I'm always looking for new resources, new ideas to bring into the classroom. I love learning about the art of teaching, so I guess this makes me a student of teaching. When I think about the teachers that have inspired me, they too seemed to be students first, hungry to learn more about their content area and the art of teaching it well.

So I guess it is no surprise that I've spent my last three snow days reflecting on ways to improve my teaching. I've been thinking about how to help others use Twitter to grow their PLN and teaching resources. So, drawing cues from Twitter's #edchat format, I've started a Twitter hashtag conversation.

Using the hashtag #engswap, secondary English/Language Arts teachers are invited to vote on a topic of collaboration each week, and then throughout the week use our hashtag on Twitter to share related curricular materials. It is an online English curriculum swap! We'll use Twitter to share lesson plans, curricular resources, and cool English links. It's a great way to add to our teaching resources.

I've put together a web page to both share more information about our Twitter hashtag as well as archive the resources participants share. You check check it out at http://engswap.pbworks.com. There you will find information about how to participate, how to follow all the resources shared, and how to vote on our weekly topics.

Want to participate next week? Vote on a topic below! Then follow #engswap on Twitter.