Week 1 Question: “Are you on Twitter now? Why or why not?”

I’ve started an e-learning course called “21st Century-ize Your Curriculum” provided by PLP, Powerful Learning Practice, and think I will copy some of my reflections from this course in here.

Week 1 Question: “Are you on Twitter now? Why or why not?

I joined Twitter 547 days ago (Feb. 1, 2010). And how those 547 days have changed my professional and personal life!!!

I joined because my local TechEd guru, Colin Jagoe, help me set up an account called  @beachcat11 so that my students and people I knew could “follow” and share my journey to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and Paralympics in real time. I then also created a Twitter account for my newly created side-kick @HenryHudsonBear so that the very little kids could follow my journey through the eyes of a teddy bear. (I taught a SK-Gr 1 class once a week, and needed a way to explain the Olympics to them.) I never dreamed Twitter could be anything other than a simple tool to communicate with my students back home.

So when I returned back to school, I stopped using Twitter for a very long time. But when I attended our Ontario educational computing “ECOO” conference 6 months later, I heard and started following the most amazing educators — Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach included, no relation — and began to discover the most incredible world of incredible thinkers, innovators, educators, who clearly demonstrated not only a passion for facilitating our students’ learning in a new and more effective way, but who were also passionately open to anyone who was interested in coming along for the ride! It was this exceptional openness to talking and listening and sharing and supporting to a it-doesn’t-matter-who, from a doesn’t-matter-place, in a doesn’t-matter-country, which really captured my heart and mind, and sold me on the never-before-seen benefits of Twitter for teachers and our professional learning. And the things I discovered! The professional learning! The educators from around the world! The resources, the connections, the exciting opportunities for my kids! To say nothing of the same for me. (-:

I’ve tried blogging and fooling around with other tools, but for me, using Twitter is the one thing that has profoundly affected and offered me more than anything else in all my years of teaching and professional learning.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to “sell” Twitter very successfully to my colleagues back home, but I’m spending the summer trying to understand why, and to figure out how I can approach and be more helpful to them in the fall.

(I am passionate about the benefits of Twitter; so my apologies for the lengthy response!!)



About Cathy Beach

Recently retired elementary teacher and outdoor educator in rural Ontario, Canada. My Olympic Journeys may be over, but they lead me into some very exciting adventures with teachers and kids and the world of connected learning...
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