Thursday, July 11, 2013

Why I do what I do...for Inspiration

Technology has become a very powerful tool in the classroom. I use the word "tool" as it is not replacing curriculum or teachers. Technology simply enhances what I have always been doing.

Engaging and teaching my students.

When I began teaching at Oakdale Junior High School, technology in my classroom began with the overhead. Super tech savvy! Then quickly expanded to a SMARTboard and other SMART products. Of course, I was then intrigued with Google, iPads, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and so much more. About two years ago, I discovered the professional development power of Twitter. Read more about my love for Twitter here.

Twitter has broadened my teaching and professional development in ways I never thought possible. Twitter has brought teachers, administrators, and other passionate educators together to share, encourage, and collaborate. I have developed quite the unbelievable Personal Learning Network (PLN) and I hope that I have brought to members of my PLN (and other's PLNs) as much as they have given me.

Speaking of my PLN, today, I received and email that has confirmed that I am indeed doing what I should be doing. Connecting, inspiring, and spreading my enthusiasm for learning, teaching, connecting, and technology. It truly made my day!

I know that all educators on Twitter are tech savvy and that Twitter to a newbie can be scary. But the simple fact that they are on Twitter, speaks volumes. It can be tough as a newbie on Twitter. I thought Twitter was tough the first time I participated in a chat! There are so many people, so many comments and questions, so many things I wanted to say! It all goes by incredibly fast and furious and Twitter only gives 140 characters to make one's thoughts heard!

So why do?

Why do I do it? Why do I spend my time on chats, moderating and co-moderating chats, and reading chat archives?

I do it for the same reason I began developing a PLN. I want to continue grow, learn, and inspire myself, my students, and others. Enthusiasm is contagious and I have TONS to spare! Ask those who know me or have met me! I may not always know what I am doing, or what I am planning to do next, but talking with other educators inspires me with new ideas, ways to change my teaching for the better, ways to change and develop currently lessons to make them better, ways to engage my students with and with out technology. I am not the best educator, but I am PASSIONATE! I love love love teaching! I love mentoring, helping, talking, chatting, blogging, advocating education and the betterment of my students.

I know Twitter is difficult and faced paced. I know the speed and information is overwhelming. But there is always one tweet, that one connection, that one idea will motivate and inspire you in ways you've never known. YOU could and will inspire people as they have inspired me, and turns out, I have inspired others! As educators, we need inspiration! To give and to get!

So here are some quick tips:

  1. Find a chat that interests and inspires you. I love #smartee-empowering SMARTees and SMART tech users, #tlap- Teach lik a Pirate chat based on the amazing book by Dave Burgess, #ccsschat-discussion about all things Common Core State Standards, #geniushour-all things about the 20% method in the classroom, #flipclass-a new way of increasing face to face time with your students, #caedchat-teachers across California discussion top education topics, and #gr8teacher-this chat focuses on great teachers, methods, and pedagogy. 
  2. Use TweetDeck, Hootsuite, or software to make chatting easy. These allow you to create a column focusing on a specific hashtag, search, or person. 
  3. This advice from the AMAZING Rafranz Davis : Once using one of the above mentioned, during the chat create a column of the moderator. This way you can follow the questions easily! You'll never miss a question.
  4. Follow individuals that move you. You don't have to follow everyone! Follow those who tweet passionately about topics and areas that are important and inspire you! 
For more tips check out Nicole Harrison's blog on "How to Participate in a Twitter Chat".

So dive in! Take the plunge and try out a chat! Just one. Put in a few comments, questions, ideas and see what happens. You too will inspire and move others! Because....


  1. I am impressed that you remembered my tip in the exact same words...

    "Once using one of the above mentioned, during the chat create a column of the moderator. This way you can follow the questions easily! You'll never miss a question."

    LOVE this!!!!

    1. You know it! I couldn't remember who told me that! GREAT and perfect for chats! Now I must add you in! :)

  2. Danesa, It's been so great connecting with you on Twitter - your enthusiasm (I feel, at least) matches mine! I echo your sentiments - and thanks for sharing Rafranz's tip - great reminder & very helpful to someone new. I remember not even knowing there was a moderator - I just thought people chimed in with the Q1, Q2... :-) Question for you - did you create those awesome pics I see in this post? I'm big on making my own, and applaud you if they're yours! I love the Picasso graphic!! Take care, and "see" you soon!