Here is quote that I think explains one of the values of twitter:
"We no longer search for the news, the news finds us... We will no longer search for products and services, they will find us via social media"
Educators no longer have to search completely on their own for tools, resources, and information for their classroom. Twitter is a constant stream of valuable resources, links, tools, conversations, collaboration, and encouragement that find their way onto a teacher's desktop. It is amazing how great resources will "find you" through twitter. It has been just over a year since I joined twitter and I have learned so much about how technology can be used as a very effective tool of instruction. (If you do not know how twitter works, watch this VIDEO)
I have heard many teachers say they do not have time for Twitter, however, Twitter is completely user controlled. Sometimes I feel weighted down by my email. I have to check my email and reply when necessary. It's not that way with twitter. You can follow who you want, send out tweets when you want, and read tweets when you want. People on twitter will place links in their tweets in order to share great tools that can be used in the classroom. Some of the amazing tools that I have learned about strictly because of twitter include voicethread, prezi, backchanneling, wikis, mind mapping, flickr, Skype, and diigo.
Most importantly, I have made many great connections with other educators all over the world. It's really all about the people. My PLN, or Personal Learning Network, is a group of educators on twitter who motivate, collaborate, encourage, and share with one another. I have about 900 people following me on twitter and I follow over 500 people myself. Just about every person in my PLN I probably would have had zero contact with if it were not for twitter. It really is a way to surround yourself with more quality, dedicated, and passionate colleagues.
Resources for teachers who are new to twitter
28 educators that you must follow
Tom Whitby explains the power of the PLN
Eric Sheninger Discusses the Emergence of Twitter in Education
Steve Anderson (@web20classroom) on Twitter
This post was originally written for an assignment in my "Integrating Technology into the Curriculum" class at Concordia University, Nebraska.