Twitter really can be one of the best forms of CPD that teachers and senior leaders can access and engage with. This evening I participated in the weekly #SLTChat session hosted by Ross McGill (@teachertoolkit)
Throughout the hour-long twitter session, several questions are posted by Ross to which fellow Twitter followers respond with their views. The evening became a mass of tweets which interestingly enough shakes out to form a cohesive discussion. I was pretty unsure at first how to make sense of dozens of tweets being posted within seconds of each other. Of course, each post is limited to 140 characters, so there's actually not a lot to read. However, synthesizing the sheer amount of data coming from a range of people offering some quite diverse viewpoints was at times difficult to follow.
One tool that was certainly well worth its weight in gold was TweetDeck, without which I'd have really struggled. I personally use the Twitter app on a daily basis, but it simply isn't up to the job of following a range of tweets with a specific hash tag.
TweetDeck allows you to create 'columns' each displaying a specific feed, meanwhile maintaining the timeline of all tweets from those your follow, alongside messages, interactions etc. I set one column to display #SLTChat tweets. I did end up using Twitter app for contributions to the chat. What TweetDeck really needs is a 'new tweet' button which creates a new tweet containing the hash tag of the discussion you are following. This would save quite a bit of time when posting.
Tonight's agenda was centred firmly around Gove's plans to introduce the EBAC, eradicating GCSEs and marginalising the creative, foundation subjects. Of course it's a much bigger argument than my simple summary. You can read the whole #SLTChat debate here.
Get online next Sunday evening, 8pm sharp. Install TweetDeck meantime, and I'll see you online.