In the post Twitter for Professional Development: Ultra Beginner Edition, I offered a simple way to demonstrate the power of Twitter to teachers. If you are introducing Twitter to your colleagues, I highly recommend following that model. This builds awareness of the learning possibilities of social media in a non-threatening way.
The next step is for teachers to share what they learn. Notice I haven’t had teachers create a Twitter account yet. This is scary to many so just stick with consumption of content.
A zillion possibilities exist to share content including a shared Google doc, Evernote notebook and, of course, the faculty room bulletin board. The bottom line is, there is no best place to share links to great educational content; too many options are available. Use whatever is easiest for your school.
With newbies, I suggest using Diigo. I can hear many of you now, “There are zillions of other ways to share resources!” I know, for example, you can set up a Wallwisher wall and post resources on it…no accounts required. You can have teachers print out webpages and put them in a binder called, “Resources.” Just kidding! Here’s what I do with Diigo.
Login to Diigo and create a new group. This is under the My Groups tab; there is a blue button that says, “Create a group…” Complete all the information and give your group a good name (i.e. EMS Math Resources). Select “By Invitation only” in the How to Join section and create your group.
Now the most difficult part by far; explain social bookmarking to your teachers and have them create Diigo accounts. You’re on your own for this…good luck! Make sure you have teachers go to the tools section and install the Diigo Bookmarklet. Leave lots of time for this in your training session. Lastly, send out invitations to join the group you created previously.
Okay, that’s the hard part…now for the fun. Get your teachers back on TweetChat.com and perusing Twitter feeds. See Twitter for Professional Development: Ultra Beginner Edition if you need a refresher how to do that. Now, have teachers practice bookmarking and, this is really important, make sure they select Share to Group and choose the group you created. After everyone has added resources, send your teachers to Diigo and have them explore their group. They’ll see all of the great content curated by their colleagues.
I’m not going to lie; this is an exhausting professional development session. It will pay off however and you will be so proud when you see the resources grow.
How have you used Twitter and Social Bookmarking? Please post a comment below and thanks for reading the educational technology blog Teach Amazing!
Mark Brumley is an educational technology leader, presenter and founder of Teach Amazing, who has lived and worked around the globe in his commitment to provide authentic learning experiences to enhance the education of 21st Century learners.