Free Professional Development for Teachers! Twitter.

by Lee DiGeorge

Here’s the deal: I’m going to put you in touch with the brightest educational minds in the country. They’ll give you articles to read, food for thought and might even answer a question or two you may have. These experts have years of experience, are leaders in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and even higher education.

How much would you pay for all this?

How about nothing?

Well then, go ahead and sign up for a Twitter account. The professional development you receive from listening to and conversing with these professionals may be more valuable to you than anything your school can offer you.

I first found out about #EdChat when Tom Whitby sat in on a presentation I was giving at the 2009 NYSCATE conference about podcasting and digital documentaries. Tom told me all about how Twitter was an up-and-coming place for educators to get together from all across the world and share ideas. I didn’t take it seriously at the time, and I didn’t use Twitter for any other reason than bugging my friends. Tom soon “unfollowed” me, as he didn’t care to see me make fun of my friends and not push the educational boundaries.

When I enrolled into the MAT@USC, one of the best friends I’ve made, Deirdra Brasch, reminded me of the purpose of Twitter for educators. Reluctantly, I came back and started tweeting again. It was my lunch period at work, so I was checking out the #EdChat. The topic of conversation was common core standards.

“Wait a second! I know a LOT about this!” was my first reaction, as I began to post in #EdChat. Soon, people were responding to me. We debated, discussed and learned from each other. It was miraculous. I gained more knowledge from an hour of a Twitter chat than I had from numerous professional development events.

My goal is to get everyone from the Rossier School of Education and MAT@USC tweeting. Professors and administrators: I’m talking to you too. Collectively, we have a wealth of knowledge that can truly become the stepping-stones for further educational growth in all of us.

Follow me on Twitter @MrDiGeorge. See what it’s like. Tweet something at me. I’ll be more than happy to walk you through the process. Learn, share, make a name for yourself!