So, I reached 3,000 followers on Twitter. Now, I know numbers shouldn’t matter, but this felt like a pretty significant milestone to me. I’ve been tripping down the memory lane that is my Twitter journey.
Back on February 14, 2010 I wrote my very first blog that described why I joined Twitter. Not much has changed in four years. The goal has remained the same: connecting and learning with others.
While there are many who followed the trend of “unfollowing” everyone, and only interacting with a select group of personal connections, that choice was not for me. As my PLN (Personal Learning Network) grew, I couldn’t wait to see what would come up in my feed! I treasured every chance to grow, learn and become a better educator. I cherished the unexpected interaction. Even when people randomly “unfollowed” me, I continued to follow them. Maybe they would change their mind.
When I was hungry for professional development and encouragement to try new things, Twitter was my avenue for learning. When I needed answers, advice or just old-fashioned reassurance, Twitter gave me everything I needed and more. I was consistently overwhelmed by the generosity of others and I was determined to pay it forward.
Over the years, I met and formed friendships that have sustained me and helped me when I needed it most. I know I found a life long friend in Tania Ash who lives an ocean away in Morroco. Together, we formed and moderated one of the early educational chats called #elemchat. While we no longer run this chat as the need for grade and subject specific chats developed, I know I have a friend for life in Tania. Through Twitter and unconferences such as #edcampPhilly and #ntchat, I met Jerry Blumengarten, one of the most preeminent educators on Twitter, the reveered and respected @cybraryman1. I am lucky to call Jerry and his wife, Gail my friends and I look forward to seeing them whenever I am in Florida. Again, I can’t stress enough the rich relationships I have found via Twitter.
Just the other day, I wrote a blog for Digital Learning Day that only came about through the encouragement of @geraldaungst. We followed each other on Twitter, and then, I discovered we both worked in the same district. Together, we’ve tried to encourage our colleagues to embrace Twitter to enrich their professional lives. We have a pretty good track record. I’m especially proud of @flyteach1st who is just as excited as I am by ways to include technology in our teaching. And, speaking of proud, our school counselor, @carlicounsels not only embraced Twitter, but has successfully started her own chat #escchat. Now, she’s off to Florida this summer to share her Twitter skills and journey as a presenter at a conference. I feel like a proud Twitter Mama!
As social media grows, changes and becomes an expectation in our daily lives, I’ve had a blast exploring new places to connect such as Tumblr, Pinterst, ScoopIt, Instagram, Vine, etc., but my heart will always belong to my first love…. Twitter.