Twitter. What’s the point?

It’s difficult to even remember which thoughts and justifications for using Twitter that I’ve read from others, which ones I’ve formulated myself and which ones are a combination of both, so I will apologize in advance if you feel that I’ve borrowed one of your ideas and not acknowledged you.                                                                                                

Twitter definitely allows me to multitask… a requirement for any educator!

I sit here writing this blog, watching two six-year olds draw on the window of my house (with washable felts I hope) and tweeting with my good friend George Couros to help me find a website that will help me create a cartoon.                                                                                           

Twitter has the potential to provide professional learning on any topic at anytime!


I’ve recently been reading several blogs (all of which I have accessed through Twitter) that discuss everything from Why Teachers Should Blog to why Twitter is a great means of professional learning to the value of home schooling in Idaho! Twitter has provided me with professional development that I could not get elsewhere.    
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gone are the one day, quit hitter PD sessions where you go in to listen to the “sage on the stage”. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Teacher’s Convention, I enjoy listening to keynote speakers who motivate and educate me, and there are some speakers who I will only be able to access in a large group, lecture style environment but these methods can no longer be our sole source of professional development.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     One of the best professional development opportunities that I have accessed for myself and my staff was math professional development with Trevor Caulkins. Trevor worked with our staff and students in our school. While this was a great learning opportunity for all, with limited resources such as time and money, as well as the fact that not all teachers require support with the same topic, even this format is not always a practical way to provide professional development.                                                                                      

Twitter is on demand professional learning.

As educators, we know that professional development ideally would be available to you at your work site, it is timely, ongoing, on a relevant topic etc. Twitter provides all of these. You can access everything from brief quotes and ideas to articles and research through various groups on Twitter. You choose where and when to access Twitter, you choose what you want to research and learn about.                                                                                                        

Twitter allows me to share my knowledge.

Twitter allows me to comment to others where I feel I have knowledge and background if they’ve posed a question. It allows me to follow the answers to these questions which I hadn’t even asked but have interest in and further develop my understanding of topics.

Okay… there it is… George has found the answer to my cartoon question through his twitter network! Time to sign off and try it out.

Please consider commenting on this post and sharing your blogs with me!


About Shaye Patras

I am a husband and father of two fantastic girls. I currently work as the Principal of Ecole Meridian Heights School in Parkland School Division in Alberta, Canada. I am excited to be continuing my administrative career in this learning community!
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6 Responses to Twitter. What’s the point?

  1. Shauna Boyce says:

    I’m with you Shaye – now that I’m on twitter (after resisting it for far too long) I’m hooked. It’s by far the best PLN I’ve ever been a part of.
    The immediate access to Professional learning is amazing. Today I tweeted asking for advice on what wisdom to share with new teachers. We’ll see what responses I get, but two years ago, I never would have had that opportunity.
    The best about it is also the worst though: for someone who has always had difficulty putting work away at the end of the day, it has become worse. I am checking my twitter account before going to bed! Yikes!! But that’s a personal issue – if it wasn’t twitter, it would be something else…

    • SPatras says:

      Shauna, thanks for the comment. We are very much on the same page. I am finding my need to constantly check twitter is becoming more manageable over time, though. Have a fantastic start up!


  2. Berenice says:

    Shaye, I like your thoughts and your reasoning here…What you say makes a lot of sense. I am still pondering the whole notion of twittering (is that the term?)… Can one really share significant insight and knowledge in 140 characters or less? I guess that it is a start but I’m not really sure if one can have truly meaningful, pithy dialogue in what amounts to be punctuated thought-phrases… But, as you say, we are 21st Century learners/educators now. Perhaps it is time to see things and do things in a new way! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • SPatras says:

      Berry, I was also hung up on the 140 characters initially also, but found that much of the learning comes in these short bits, often with attachments when required. In addition, I find the brevity of twitter as a fresh breath. Finally, I with the brief nature of twitter, I am able to converse and read on numerous topics and subjects all in a very short period of time. Thanks for the reply.


    Hi Berry (and Shaye) don’t forget twitter is not about 140 characters- links to blogs such as this one has enabled me to share your thoughts. This is part of education. The HUMAN connections via twitter is the biggest gift of all. Thru people we connect with on twitter, we learn, share, help & support each other. This is good ol fashioned people power thru a new medium- social networking via technology 😉 give it a whirl! See my blog post above. Was my 2nd blog post (only active twittering since July).

    • SPatras says:


      You are so right about the human aspect of Twitter and other forms of technology. It provides us with an opportunity to connect and learn. I am looking forward to taking a few minutes to read your post later this evening.


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