Over the past few weeks I've been privileged to read so many great blog posts by fellow teachers on the numerous benefits of both tweeting and blogging. Having an online presence in order to collaborate and learn from others is now fast becoming one of the most popular and interesting ways to improve your day to day teaching. More and more teachers are getting involved in this online community, which means there are more and more opportunities to network with like-minded people.
My motivation to write this post was not to re-invent the wheel, but instead to bring together the best posts that have been written on this area. It should be seen as a one-stop guide for both teachers looking to dip their toe in the online teaching community, and also the more experienced 'Tweachers' amongst us.
For me, Twitter is a gem. Fantastic ideas from teachers all over the world, when I want it, where I want it. And that's without mentioning the opportunity to collaborate with this community of inspirational teachers from all corners of the globe.
To start with here is my blog post 'To Tweet or Not To Tweet' about why Teachers might get involved with Twitter and the power that it possesses, which also includes links to blog posts by the great Mark Anderson and Tom Barrett, the man who set me on my Twitter way.
If you've been emailed this blog post and you're now thinking about giving it a go, read this case study / blog post 'Twitter Power CPD' from a newby 'Tweacher' Lee Garrett on what he's learned in such a short space of time.
So, if you've read the previous two posts and you're now ready to begin your online journey into the Twitter Teaching Community, or you're already Tweeting, but want a few tips in building a successful professional network then look no further than '100 Twitter Tips For Teachers' by the online 'TeachThought' blog site.
There are also various 'hashtags' used in Twitter to tag tweets for certain subjects. This enables tweets to be easily searched for by a certain hashtag even if you are not following that specific person. To find out more about using Twitter hashtags, take a look at 'The Complete Guide To Twitter Hashtags In Education' by Terry Heick at TeachThought.
And finally, if you're now up and running or even if you're the most experienced of Tweeting Teachers, you must check out the amazing 'Tweachers Map' created by Pete Jones. Based on the iconic London Underground map, it is a map of all the most influential teachers on Twitter - perfect for you to see who you should be following. And if that's left you wondering about Pete's motivation for creating such a masterpiece, read his thoughts on why he created it via his blog post.
Twitter is full of teachers blogging about their experiences in the classroom, their trials, successes and failures. Blogs are a great way to reflect on your own teaching and to share your good practice with the world. I've heard it described as being 'good for the soul' by Tait Coles and a place where 'ideas bloom and blossom' by David Fawcett.
A brilliant blog post by Canadian Dean Shareski titled 'How To Make Better Teachers' spells out exactly what we can all learn from one another by blogging as reflective practioners and how this is essential to the growth and development of outstanding teachers.
However, my favourite post on the benefits of blogging is written by Australian music teacher Gabrielle Deschamps. Her post 'Ten Reasons Why Teachers Should Blog & Tweet' communicates my exact thoughts on this area and is a great starting point for anyone thinking of putting their creative & reflective hats on.
And if you are thinking about taking the plunge and writing your own blog, take a look at the thoughts of Stephen O'Carroll as he prepares to begin his blogging journey with his first blog post, 'To Blog Or Not To Blog'.
If you're ready to go and want to get started right away, but don't know how, check out this helpful guide - 'Blogging Tips For Teachers' from the Cornerstone online blog giving you great tips on setting up and designing your blog, to content and frequency advice.
Being a reflective practitioner is something we all need to be if we are to strive to be the best in the classroom. With the current influx of teachers on Twitter sharing their ideas through their own blogs, you really have got the world at your fingertips. By using the links above you should have all the advice you need to take that first step to a whole new approach to your teaching by connecting with teachers from all over the globe, far beyond the physical constraints of our classrooms or staffrooms! What are you waiting for???
Written by Jon Tait, @teamtait
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.