Use Twitter for Personalized PD

By: Mary Kienstra on: August 6, 2017  in: Summer PD, Twitter, ,

Summer is the time when educators reflect and recharge. For most, the pace slows and allows time for thinking and planning, looking forward to the next school year. Many teachers engage in different types of personalized professional development , but the best (and most accessible) personalized PD is actually as close as your phone or your laptop – it’s Twitter!  It’s time to use Twitter for personalized PD.


Here’s an easy way to begin or continue your own Twitter journey by building a network and finding new ideas and inspiration.  It’s time to get started!

Open a Twitter Account: It’s easy to do and will take only a few minutes to get started.  Choose a screen name, write an engaging bio, and add a picture. (No one will interact with you if your picture is an Egghead.)  Now you are ready to go.

 Search a hashtag:  A few favorites are #tlap (Teach Like a Pirate), #MTBoS (Math Twitter BlogoSphere),  #Edtechteam, and #GAFESummit..  These Tweeters share common interests and use the hashtag to broadcast their ideas.  Explore a few and see what you can learn.  As you look through the hashtag, follow people who are tweeting about topics that interest you.  Now you are building a network while you read their articles and comments.  

Search for authors, educators, and professiona:  Have you read any inspiring education books lately?  Since, the author is most likely using Twitter, you can search for the author’s name or the book title.  Look up the Twitter accounts for organizations that interest you such as NCTM or ASCD.  Follow them and then look to see who they are following or who is following them.  You can build a network that way too as you read content from these professionals.

Participate in a Twitter chat:  Many live chats occur during the course of a week or month as people who share interests gather in real time to discuss topics. They typically use a hashtag and respond to prepared questions. Twitter chats are fabulous places to interact and meet new friends. This is another way to learn about topics that interest you and continue to build your network.

Not attending the conference? With the hashtag, you can “attend virtually.”   During the conference, follow the hashtag (for example #ISTE17 or #NCTM17)  and see what the attendees are tweeting.  Many times there are links to presentations that you can access. In this way you can interact with the attendees and presenters as if you are there.  

Build your network:  This is how you find your tribe, your inspiration, your new ideas.  Follow, tweet, interact.  You choose the people and sites you’d like to learn from and with. These are your new Twitter friends and your new source for personalized professional development.  After a few weeks, you will wonder why you haven’t tried this earlier.  


Jump in!  Get started.  Personalized PD on Twitter is available 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. You decide how you will you use it and what you can learn.  You won’t be sorry!

Also posted on July 2017


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