Skip to main content

Guerrilla PD - The Rise of Social Media for Educators

I was recently asked by a group of preservice teachers what has been the most powerful professional development strategy that I had undertaken during my career? This was a profound question because they had give me permission to share with them a practice that had revolutionized my world as an educator. My response initially took them by shock but as I explained my reasoning and philosophy they discovered an untapped supply of experts, experience and resources.

Social media once was just thought of as a means to connect social stories, updates and status but in recent times there has been a professional revolution with many educators taking up Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest etc. as a means for quality professional development. It has become a form of "Guerrilla Professional Development" where educators have access to professional conversations happening around the world anytime, anywhere, without cost and restriction. For me my choice in social media has been Twitter and Linkedin as they flatten my world and removes educational hierarchy. People are people even if they are professors, doctors or classroom teachers. In my professional network I have some of the world's most innovative educators and researchers. I find they have no problem taking time to inspire and encourage good practice and are willing to engage with me as a professional and with my students.

Craig Kemp has written a wonderful post on "10 Steps to Creating the perfect Educational Twitter Account" it is definitely worth the read. When I professionally use twitter I engage a viewer called tweetdeck to organise the chats that I am following. In doing this I am able to track trends and interact in a productive way.


In understanding how twitter works you have 140 characters to post a comment. This is known as microblogging. Each user has a username known as a handle for example @hostbrian and the use of a hashtag # creates conversations between groups of people that are socially related or interested in particular topics. I describe them like classrooms!


The list of these professionals could go on and on, however; these are a list of some of my favourate educators to interact with:
Prof. Mark WestonSir Ken Robinson, Prof. Alec Couros, Vicki DavisCraig Kemp, Ritu SehjiAndrea StringerLeonie Bennett, Matt EstermanZeina Chalich, Sunny ThakralBrett SalakasAlice Keeler, Jason HoskingAnna CarswellMeridith Ebbs, Abi Woldhuis, Deb ClarkeMaggie MattsonJena BallMarty KeltzBev LaddDave Burgess and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki


Some of my favourate hashtags to follow and engage with that always offer quality professional conversations around pedagogy and practice are:
#aussieed, #satchatOC, #whatisschool, #inzpired, #dojochatanz, #makered, #tesoloz, #asiaed, #PSTchat, #BFC530, #tlap, #includeed, #educoachOC

As I continue to grow as an educator I have continued to innovate. Working beyond my own professional account similar to a growing number of teachers, I have successfully implementing a class twitter account. I have done this for the purpose of engaging students with an authentic audience from the community and connecting students to the world, optimising their understanding by using 21st century tools that enhance their learning.


Popular posts from this blog

What does a post-industrial class look like? Part 2

This post is the second part of a series that I have been working on to identify what does a post-industrial class look like? In my previous post, I looked at using video, collaborative discussion, grouping and student-centred learning.


Why a large display and one to one? The large electronic display is used as it offers many benefits to a given lesson; these include demonstration and modelling as the teacher could showcase the application or video from the board (Moss, et al, 2007). It is easy to show the important features of particular web-based activities and have students interact with the material on their own devices. The board can accommodate different learning styles (Herrington & Harrington, 2006). Interactive boards can help tactile learners by touching and marking the board. Audio learners can have the class discussion and auditory multimedia, visual learners can see what is taking place as it develops at the board and it offers multimodal learning which can be tailored …

What can Western Education Learn from the China's History?

Sitting travelling at 307km an hour travelling from Beijing to Suzhou for 5 hours with a group of 80 gives me time to reflect on some of the engineering, architectural, fashion and acrobatic feats of China. This trip our group have been give the privilege of walking on the Great Wall, cruising through the canals of Suzhou and riding on the high speed train. What I have noticed is all of these engineering marvels were completed with amazing efficiency, are structurally sound and have aesthetic appeal. Our tour guides said this is because of the time taken to plan and execute, taking into consideration the natural beauty of the region and working with it. They suggested the public only sees the rate in which something is built; however, highlighted that it took long term vision to create something that was radically new for their culture. This idea resounds with me!
As educational change agents and leaders we need to see the budding talent encompassed within our students and support them…

Teacher Leadership - How do we Lead from the Middle? Part 1

Introduction: Effective leadership is universally acknowledged as being an essential element in achieving school improvement (Leithwood & Jantzi, 1998; Hopkins, 2001). The ways in which leadership is created within an educational context; however, is a varied as teachers themselves. Traditionally, the expectation was that principals were across all levels of leadership; however, with the increasing complexities of schools, the belief has shifted. The roles of both the principals and teachers must change in order for improvement to become the norm throughout the culture of a school. Systems have adopted a framework of distribution as it has become impossible for one person to do it all. This modern of education encourage the empowerment of teacher (Harris & Muijs, 2002a) to lead and drive changes so that all students have the resources required to reach their level of proficiency (Devaney, 1987). Fullan (2001a) states that teachers are the key to school change.
Teachers commonly …