Even though I am in the middle of a crazy two weeks of teacher training I was able to find some time to have a drink and a chat with some former course participants (and one more friend) last night because of today’s national holiday in Korea. It was great to see them and I thoroughly enjoyed it. They are all experienced Korean English teachers and it was great to talk to them and to catch up on what is going on with them and English education in Korea.
One of the teachers is on Twitter (partially due to my recommendation it seems) so the topic of Twitter naturally came up. I am generally a bit leery about putting on the hard sell about Twitter even though I am a believer. Mostly I just don’t want to pressure people that are already busy enough to do something that might not work for them. Hmm, maybe this is a bit of foreshadowing for a future blog post. So, anyway, we were talking about Twitter and discussing how it works and how it is different than Facebook and a few other related topics. Somehow the idea to do a little experiment came up and I tweeted the following:
Why should Korean english teachers join twitter ? They are here with me now lets see what people say
About a minute later I added:
please somebody respond quickly they are demanding evidence
(they were/are a very tough crowd)
Then the responses started flowing in. We were all very impressed with the quality of the responses. The variety of responses and locations people were tweeting from were noteworthy too. I also thought it was wonderful and amazing that people who I have never met (OK I’ve met one of them face-to-face) took the time to respond in order for complete strangers to see the power of Twitter. #Gratitude
What exactly did people say?
- I’ve found many good resources through Twitter, and it was really a lifesaver last year.
- Because it’s the best way to expand their PLN & learn about the latest developments in the world of TEFL!! …..& it’s fun!
- isnt it more “who shouldn’t be on twitter?” at this point?
- because you can connect to fellow teaching professionals throughout the world. A treasure trove of advice is there!
- Because we get to meet and learn from cool people like
@michaelegriffin here! ;-)
(At this point giggled a bit and my friends made some “wow” like sounds)
- how about some of this?: http://bit.ly/Nwz5VC
- You can meet other people an practice your English! You can ask other ppl q’s and share your ideas too.
- if slang / idioms used to be a focus of “real english” isn’t microblogging now an awesome way to see how young folk “talk”?
(At this point I added how lots of Korean stars/athletes tweet in English and this is a great model and quite interesting for Ss to see)
- 18 months ago I would have agreed with them. How I have been proven wrong. Best decision I ever made was to join twitter. (When I demanded more details this same kind soul added what follows) I’ve discovered endless resources on PD, RP, Dogme, lexicology, Also
#KELTChat :-) I’m part of a fantastic, supportive PLN. plus twitter is worth it simply for the links I see for access to free webinars with wonderful teachers eg #iTDi
(And someone else added)
not to mention the opportunity to create their own community of teachers and learners.
- Twitter removes the barriers between people so we can learn together. Hello from Calgary, Canada!
After a few responses my friends seemed very impressed and two of them expressed real interest in joining up. The most skeptical commented that asking for responses like that was a very successful experiment. Thanks so much for the ideas and help. I really appreciate it.
I wonder what other thoughts/links/whatevers you might add?
Please feel free to include them in the comments.
PLN=Personal Learning Network. (Nice explanation here)
(Also explained as Personal/Passionate/Professional/Public learning network)
PD= Professional Development
RP = Reflective Practice
(I’d also recommend following these folks when/if you join twitter!)
I have decided to add related links as they fly by my screen.
Another new discovery is this post and I think it is helpful for those considering getting involved with Twitter.
For another perspective and reasons to join, read how joining Twitter is like suddenly discovering an extra room in your house.
The ever prolific, insightful and readable Larry Ferlazzo on The best ways ESL/EFL/ELL Teachers Can Develop Personal Learning Networks.
Tom Whitby on Building a professional learning network on Twitter.