Do you think of Twitter as a place for play-by-play personal exchanges rather than profound professional ones? Well, that’s what I thought as of a couple of weeks ago. But not any more, especially after my experience at New Teacher Camp (NTCAMP) in my hometown of Philadelphia yesterday, an event I’d have never known about if a buddy of mine hadn’t recently convinced me to give Twitter a shot.
NTCAMPers came from across the U.S., and reflected a wide range of experience and expertise. But one thing everyone had in common: a desire to share and learn from each other. The result was one of the most productive and enjoyable conferences I’ve attended—way to go, Andrew Marcinek and others who organized this awesome event!
The highlight of the day for me was meeting so many driven yet selfless professionals. Friendly and fun too! I look forward to staying in touch through Twitter and future conferences. The breakout sessions were great too. I participated in a clever networking activity conducted by Shelley Krause, and a lively discussion led by Jason Bedell called “Grades and Learning: Are They Mutually Exclusive?” I also facilitated a session (below), “Off-Task Time: Causes and Solutions,” where participants exchanged ideas for keeping students on task, and I shared a few too—including my tool belt and train whistle.
Getting back to Twitter as a professional resource for educators, I’ve seen in just two weeks what an incredibly (if not incomparably) powerful tool it is for sharing ideas and resources. And, according to veteran tweeter and NTCAMP speaker, Jerry Blumengarten, if you’re looking for something but can’t find it, just send out a tweet, and you’ll have several suggestions in a matter of minutes.
In short, Twitter is much more than a place for letting people know what you’re having for dinner, though you can always use it for that too (cereal for me tonight—too hot in Philly these days to cook).
photos by Aungst, Gerald. copyright 2010.