Ideas, ideas, ideas! What is clear to see, from the findings, is that the teachers who responded are always wanting to evolve and develop their practice, not wanting to teach the same way year on year. Being stuck within the confines of a classroom and working with the same colleagues each day can be stifling, so gaining perspectives from those outside can be liberating.
One secondary school teacher declared that she could keep, “updated with up-to-the minute developments, wider ideas, and an exploration of pedagogy” for her own practice. This networking featured regularly in responses, with many enjoying the global element of their networks (lovingly referred to as “Personal Learning Networks” or “PLNs”). Indeed, a Primary School teacher from England asserted, “It’s like having a personalised, very specific and accurate Google search permanently on hand – when there is no budget for going on a course and so all CPD is in house, Twitter provides the crucial missing networking”.
Question – How does Professional Development gained via Twitter compare to traditional means of training that you have received?
The flexibility, lack of cost or time implications, and the high standard of Professional Development gained through Twitter were regular themes with this question. One teacher commented, “My Twitter colleagues seem much more switched on and inspiring than my staffroom colleagues”, although the potentially superficial nature of this was also recognised by a few. Beyond this, the accessibility and relevance are valued, “It’s more to the point – you don’t have to sit through the waffle or parts that are irrelevant to you”, claimed a primary school teacher.
Another teacher responded, “I went on a training course the other day, and I knew everything that they were telling me, due to following the relevant people on Twitter. I’m up-to-date and ahead of the game”. Following relevant people is key, with many people quickly coming and going on Twitter as they don’t know who to follow, so therefore give up. As a starting point, you may wish to advocate the list of UK based educators in the September 2014 issue of UKED Magazine, and get colleagues to build from there.
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