The Twitter logo (Image taken from www.twitter.com)
The Twitter logo (Image: http://www.twitter.com)

I will start with a short story…

It was around four years ago when I first moved here to Switzerland and I was full of dreams for my new life. I had found a job before I came – or so I thought. The crisis arrived in Europe and then Swiss employers decided to stop employing people for a period of time. The school that had promised to take me on informed me they could not anymore. I was suddenly without a job.

One day, when I was feeling sorry for myself, I decided to Google ELT materials and look at things I like to feel better. Ken Wilson’s blog came up and I started to read it. I then  got in touch with him and he told me not only to start my own blog, but to make a Twitter account to connect to more teachers. Up until then, I didn’t have any contact with technology apart from emailing and googling. Twitter? I thought. A social media platform where people share details of their lives…to connect with teachers? I did it, not without hesitation though. I wasn’t sure how it would help me – not at all doubting Ken, but I wasn’t sure if I’d have anything  to say. I started connecting to other teachers and seeing what they posted: useful links, their blog posts and posts of others too, new tools in technology to use in class…I loved it so much!  And I haven’t looked back ever since.

If you are an educator and are not on Twitter, I strongly suggest you do it. It will help you in more ways than can be mentioned. How to do it?

– Look at Barbara Hoskins-Sakamoto‘s Starter PLN List. A PLN is your Personal Learning Network – all those lovely educators, in any country in the world you can imagine.

– Read Sue-Lyon Jones‘ blog post on Twitter for Teachers with a useful video and links.

– Join the weekly miracle of a chat called ELTChat. It is a weekly double chat which started in September 2010, when a group of educators began to use Twitter to discuss various topics related to ELT. It is one of the greatest tools for professional development. Every Wednesday at 12pm and 21.00pm, ELT teachers from everywhere in the world join in on Twitter to discuss topics that have been voted for.

– Here is a video made by a super educator in Australia, Selena Woodward, called Getting Started with Twitter – For Educators. Many thanks to Tina Photakis, another super teacher in Australia, who posted it on Twitter and to Selena for creating it!

We are all there to help you out! Make an account and join literally thousands of educators out there.

I would never have met all these lovely people mentioned and many more, if it weren’t for Twitter.