My Favorite Videos For Describing Educators' Professional Use of Twitter

A snapshot of the information flowing
through my Twitter stream today.
I have been actively using Twitter for professional learning for a little over four years. It has become my most valuable professional learning resource during that time.

As a result of the tremendous value I've gotten from it, I've written about and presented on Twitter quite a few times. You would think that based on my extensive use of the tool and the number of times I've presented formally on it, words which describe its value and use would trip easily off of my tongue. You would be wrong.

I am often at a loss for words when I am trying to briefly describe Twitter as a learning tool. Especially to someone who is highly skeptical of "that Twitter thing" anyway or who has only ever used Twitter to follow celebrities and friends for social purposes. For whatever reason, I have difficulty with the initial task of helping them see Twitter for the powerful learning tool it can be when used specifically for that purpose.

Fortunately, I am not alone in my quest to convince others of the value of Twitter for professional learning! There are many educators out there who are passionate about spreading the word, and a few of them have made videos which help me compensate for lacking in the ability to initially describe what the heck using Twitter for professional learning looks like.

In case you are ever in the position of trying to describe Twitter for personalized professional development, here are my favorite videos for introducing Twitter to teachers. I find that after sharing videos like these, I am able to better move the conversation forward and share tips for finding and sharing quality content on Twitter. I hope these videos are helpful to you as well!

The Videos

Twitter in D123 - A professionally done video by a school district, showing how staff members including teachers, tech coaches, administrators, and the superintendent use Twitter for professional growth. I love this video because it is under 2 1/2 minutes long and serves as a good intro to discussing Twitter.

Twitter in D123 from OLHD123 on Vimeo.

Re-Imagine Your Professional Development Experience...With Twitter! - Created by elementary technology teacher and edtech graduate student Victoria Olson, this video gives a wonderful overview of the use of Twitter for PD. As I write this post, this video is only a week old. I came to know about it because Victoria asked permission to use a graphic I had created in her video. I particularly like how Victoria breaks down three stages of Twitter participation into the Lurker, the Participant, and the Author. I love, love, love this video, and I can't wait to use it with educators who want to know more about Twitter!

Why Tweet? A Personal Journey Through the Twitterverse - University of Alaska professor Skip Via  created this video a couple of years ago to address what he saw as resistance to use Twitter for professional learning among higher education faculty. I relate to this video because it describes an experience similar to mine, where I left Twitter after trying it for the first time because I just didn't get it. Dr. Via also incorporates some graphics in his video which help explain how the connections you make on Twitter expand your scope of learning and influence.

Obvious to You, Amazing to Others - This video is not directly about Twitter, but I like to show it before the end of every gathering where I discuss Twitter for professional learning. From my earliest days of teaching, I never understood why I had to go ask other teachers for ideas all of the time. I would see evidence of projects they were doing with their students, wonder about them, and then just march right in and ask if I could know more. The teachers were never reluctant to share, but I always had to ask first. I exposed my own students to numerous impactful learning opportunities because of those conversations. This video helped me understand; we do things because they are obviously smart/right/good to us, but don't think it's worth sharing them with others because they make so much sense to us. Educators often wonder what they have to offer to other educators via Twitter (or any other medium). I use this video to help convince them to just share what they are already doing, because the rest of us need to know.

Now It's Your Turn!

Please take time to share in the comments below any other videos you have used when talking with educators about Twitter. Or, share a way that one of the videos above was helpful to you!

All original work in this post by Sandy Kendell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Please see specifics on my re-use policy in the right-hand column of my blog before re-posting/re-using any of my blog content.