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The Power of Twitter - PD for 140 characters or less

OK. I know everyone who is on Twitter likes to sing it's praises. 
I am not the first teacher nor will I be the last teacher to do so. 
However, can I say again how awesome Twitter is? And can I say that its awesomeness lies in its potential to inform and teach? And, will you believe me when I say that Twitter can provide the best PD opportunities ever? No, you don't believe me, yet? OK. Allow me to illustrate this point by sharing what happened to me this afternoon.

Earlier today some of us met to discuss the role of mentors in the PYP exhibition project.
I casually brought up the idea of using Facebook (FB) as a way for students to communicate and share their learning with others. Actually, I never got passed mentioning Facebook because almost everyone around the table told me that we couldn't use FB since the students were too young; FB has a 13 year-old limit for users.

But, I wanted to argue, the teacher would be the page administrator who would monitor the content to be posted on FB. Sadly, I didn't have a chance to explain myself (this was probably not the best venue to have this discussion anyway) because by that time the conversation had veered in a different direction.

As soon as I got home I posted a couple of tweets asking if anybody was using FB with elementary age children. Although I've done this before, this was the first time I included someone who is a well-known educator (@coolcatteacher) rather than simply depending on hashtags. Once she favorited my tweet and retweeted it I started getting replies. Before I knew it, I was involved in an hour-long conversation with several educators. 

Although I didn't get a definitive answer, I received valuable responses that will help me participate in my school's decision regarding social media use by students. For now, however, I will explore Edmodo as an alternative to FB as recommended by one of the teachers I was tweeting with this afternoon. Since I am already familiar with Edmodo, I can use it right now. 

What an incredible experience! I will definitely do this again now that I know an effective way to ask for help on Twitter. 

If you haven't yet delved into Twitter, I highly recommend you do so soon. More than anything, Twitter provides you with opportunities to create your own PD.

Are you convinced, yet? Tweet me a message @elisaw5 and let's start a conversation. You'll be amazed at what can happen. 

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(2) How can I continue to engage writers without overwhelming them or me?

(3) How can I determine if my tangled readers are learning to be better readers from the books they choose to read?

(4) How can I strike a balance between student choice and making sure my students learn what they need to learn at any given time?

(5) Am I demanding too much from my students?

As I find responses and solutions to these issues, I will post some ideas on my blog.

Any thoughts are more than welcomed!