Teachers are turning to social media to inform their professional development (PD), supplementing district-mandated meetings with personalized learning through Twitter, Facebook, blogs and community building. Teachers are using these social resources to bridge the gap between what research shows is effective professional development and what is being put into practice.
Whether or not your district or school has these PD shortcomings, you can only benefit from weaving social media into your teacher development. Academic journals such as the Education for Teaching and the Research on Technology in Education cite studies that prove that engaging, personalized and robust professional development increases teachers’ confidence in PD and the classroom. However, according to a 2009 study by the Center for Public Education, research shows that most teacher PD is “ineffective” and “totally useless.”
It is because of this research between theory and practice that teachers are turning to social media to inform their professional learning. How? Have you seen tweets tagged with hashtags such as #edchat, #LDchat, #NTchat or #educolor?
These hashtags aren’t there to just expand the reach of tweets — hashtags connect teachers with a wider audience of teachers and spark conversations that allow teachers to share innovative best practices, teaching tips and questions. In this way, teachers are engaging in personalized PD that can’t be found in school buildings.
USC Rossier School of Education and TeachThought have created the Teaching with Twitter infographic that outlines how teachers can use Twitter and social media to inform their professional development.
Made possible by TeachThought and USC Rossier's online Master of Arts in Teaching degree
Are you a teacher that uses Twitter to inform their professional development? Have you taken it one step further and used social platforms with your students? We want to hear about it! Share your story in the comments below, or connect with USC Rossier on Twitter @USCTeacher.