Mostly, it's twitter. I have been all about the twitter in the past couple of months. I want to tell you why.
First, for someone with the attention span of a sparrow, twitter is the best method of interacting with the world outside my living room. There is only so much facebook scrolling one can do, but reading the twitter feed, trying different search options, and finally reading blogs with the intention of tweeting them out is extremely satisfying both mentally and professionally. Plus I can keep my pajamas on.
Twitter, according to its teacher advocates, is one of the best sources of professional development available. You can follow people you like, participate in twitter chats, conduct searches of topics that interest you as an educator. You can publicize your ideas or your creations. You can promote your own students' work.
What do I do? All of that. I participate in the Sunday night #ECET2 chat (8 pm EST), the Tuesday night Montana Ed Chat #MTedchat (8 pm MST) and the Breakfast Club chat at 5:30 every morning (#BFC530). Through those, I joined voxer, a walkie-talkie style app on my phone where I get to listen and participate as we extend the #BFC530 topic. I also joined a book club on voxer; we are reading and discussing Thanks for the Feedback.
Do I sound a little sick? Well, consider this: twitter is so beneficial, I decided, that I initiated Twitter Jedi Training Week in my district. I started by asking everyone in the district to respond to a quick survey about whether they are on twitter or not, and are they interested in learning more. After that I set up a week of activities complete with prizes for participation. One day I had trainees participate in a scavenger hunt. Another day they set up an account and submitted their handle. I used a google form for each one of these participation calls.
Another day I showed them the power of the hashtag search; in advance, I sent out a call on twitter for people to welcome my Jedi Trainees from #arlee - so when my district participants searched #arlee they found an enormous collection of welcome messages from the twitterverse. It was awesome. See some of the responses here.
And then - pretend like you didn't see this coming - I'll tweet it out.