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Here's a familiar scenario. I'm at a school meeting. Perhaps it's a department meeting, maybe a district leadership meeting, even a staff meeting. You've been there. You know how these things go. A familiar refrain is heard. "We need a transition plan to provide more effective professional development, and we need to carefully develop a roll-out of the plan once it's created. Are there any volunteers to do a pilot so that we can study our revised professional development plan? We'll meet again in a month to see how our pilot program went, and then we'll create scaffolding so that we can increase buy-in from the district, staff, or department as a whole." I raise my hand and suggest that we begin to explore Twitter, particularly #edchat, as a resource for individualized professional development. This is met with some lip-service as a good idea, and then the suggestion is ignored or turned down because "we don't have time" or because "some teachers need to be trained on how to use technology and we need to be sensitive to those needs."
Baloney. We need to stop thinking like this.
I firmly believe that every education staff in the world could be taught how to begin getting valuable professional development and classroom resources in less than ten minutes and with twenty-five keystrokes. To put twenty-five keystrokes in perspective, I have to type twenty-six keystrokes just to check my district email.
Here's my roll-out plan:
1. Type "Twitter.com/search" into your web browser. (18 keystrokes)
2. Go to the search bar, even without signing up or logging in, and type "#edchat" (7 keystrokes)
3. Scroll, click, peruse, learn.
If a district employee can use a keyboard, they are only 25 keystrokes away from an unlimited and valuable pool of constantly streaming resources and conversation. To make things even more specifically tailored to the audience, substituting "#edchat" with any of the relevant hashtag searches found here, would help to more carefully match content area or interest.
No following, no tweeting, no registering.
20 keystrokes, 10 minutes. That's all.