Wednesday, April 17, 2013

#USedchat is 5 days away and we really excited about this inaugural chat! There are so many outstanding educators who have inspired us to grow our PLN through Twittter and Tweetchats and we have asked some of them to share their story of using Twitter to grow professionally. We look forward to Monday night at 8:00 CST. Join us!

Becoming a Connected Learner
Jimmy Casas @Casas_Jimmy
Co- Founder/Co-Moderator of #IAedchat
Principal of Bettendorf High School 
Over a year ago, I made a conscientious decision to set a personal goal for myself to become more of a connected learner through social media in order to grow a more meaningful network, expand my knowledge of available resources to share with my team and staff, and to gain greater insight on educational topics in order to be able to teach others.  In the course of the last year, I have made hundreds of connections with other educators who are as motivated as I am to not only keep learning, but to also share my knowledge and expertise with others educators.  By doing so, it has opened up other opportunities for me to explore and develop as an educator.
This past November, Aaron Becker, Matt Degner, and I  decided to start #IAedchat as a way to bring Iowa educators and others from across the globe who were connected on Social Media (twitter) together on a weekly basis to discuss educational topics of interest to educators.  On January 6, 2013, we hosted our first #IAedchat and the response has been overwhelming! We are pleased to help advance these conversations and connect great grass-roots educators together!”
From Jimmy's Blog: Passion...Purpose...Pride...

A Renewed Sense of Purpose

I recently shared the following thoughts in my weekly Monday Memo to staff:

The topic of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, continue to be topics of 

discussion throughout the educational arena.  As many of you know, I felt a
obliged to try and expand my professional learning network last year to help 
me develop as an educator and as a leader in order to help support you and our 
students in the learning process.  One way I did this was by connecting to Twitter.
In doing so, I felt like I was able to have access to a plethora of resources 
and other educators eager to learn and share like myself.  As I reflect
on my journey three things come to mind. One, I felt a strong sense of renewal
to my profession, both as an educator and as a principal.  Not only have I been
able to learn from others, but also contribute to others by giving back of my time
and resources, which in turn helps our profession as a whole. I feel like I have
been able to give back to this profession, a profession which has been so 
good to me over the last twenty plus years.  Two, it has given me the opportunity 
to expand my knowledge which I hope will lead to more opportunities to 
teach. Like many that go into administration, the hardest part was leaving the
classroom and realizing my opportunities to make a daily impact on students 
would now be much more limited.  In many ways, it has been the hardest
transition for me personally because I have always seen myself as a teacher.  
Lastly, it has allowed me to expand my circle outside our organization to 
others who desire to develop meaningful professional relationships in order to do the 
best work possible for our students, staff, and community and who understand
the complexities of the principalship. The truth is being a principal is a 
lonely profession, and only those who are principals, are able to understand 
what it feels like to have that sense of responsibility on our shoulders every day, 
every evening, every weekend, 365 days a year.  Expanding my SM network 
on Twitter has provided me with a means to increase my content knowledge
and to use what I have learned to contribute beyond something that is greater
 than myself, provided me an opportunity to teach again, and allowed me to 
connect with others who understand my world and give me strength to push 
forward. In short, it has given me hope and a renewed sense of purpose.

Twitter is Transformational
Brad Currie  @bcurrie5
Co-Founder/Co-Moderator #satchat
NJ School Administrator

Twitter chats have transformed the way educators connect, share, and learn from one another. Each and every day on Twitter you can consume great content or share your educational viewpoints in a just a few clicks or taps. Some of my favorite chats to learn from are #ptchat #iaedchat #satchat #edchat and #sschat. Topics are always timely and engaging which allows me to stay on top of trending topics impacting the profession. To me, it is a "no-brainer" for educators to tap into the many resources that Twitter chats have to offer. They have impacted my professional life for the better and have empowered me to become a life long learner. - Brad Currie 

Twitter Opens Doors
Aaron Becker   @Aaron_Becker32
Co-Founder/Co-Moderator #IAedchat
Principal- Fairfield High School
Twitter has opened so many doors for my professional learning that I would have never experienced if it and taken the plunge to try something new and so out of my comfort zone. Twitter has allowed me to create relationships with other educators in my own state of Iowa but I am also able to connect globally through collaboration and feel like I am in the same room with someone that is in Wisconsin, Illinois, New Jersey, Alabama, and Maryland to just name a few.  When I was a teacher and in my early years of being a principal, I felt like I was on an island.  I felt like I had to have all of the answers or if I needed answers, I didn't know where to search for them.  Through Twitter, just like for many other educators, it blasted open doors, knocked down walls, and created opportunities to learn professionally that I never knew that were there before.  I can post a question to my personal learning network and I can have feedback in real time.  My personal learning network in Twitter challenges my thinking as an educator and motivates me to be a continual learner within my practice every single day.  Twitter has changed me forever as an educator and how I see the future of our education changing for our students. - Aaron Becker 

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