Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Power of 140 Characters

The topic of #EdChat on July 23, 2013 at 7 pm ET was: If connectedness is so important to education, why haven't a majority of educators connected? How do we connect them?

During the Bill Price, a technology and ESL Instructor from Pittsburg, PA, tweeted the following:

My answer way a resounding, YES!  You can really make great personal and professional connections with just 140 characters.  The connections I have made 140 characters at a time have altered the course of my professional life and enriched my personal life.

Example 1:  

Three years ago I attended my first ever EdCamp event in Birmingham, AL.  After attending EdCamp Birmingham I had to get more of this amazing PD concept.  I looked to the Atlanta area sure that there must be an EdCamp in the capital of Georgia.  To my disappointment there were NO EdCamp events in Georgia.  I began tweeting about looking for other innovative educators who were interested in starting up an EdCamp event in Atlanta, GA.  Dan Callahan  Foundation Chairman and Co-founder, saw my tweets and connected me to Wanda McClure who, unknown to me, was tweeting a similar message.  Wanda & I communicated through Twitter which then lead to phone conversations and face to face meetings.  When we had solidified our plans for an EdCamp event in Atlanta we tweeted out an invitation to educators interested in assisting with getting this event off the ground.  We tweeted a date, time & place to meet.  Below is a picture of the educators who showed up, some of who have become my best friends.

Read more about the inaugural EdCamp Atlanta here.

Yes! Great personal/professional connections can be made 140 characters at a time!

Example 2:

Having caught the Twitter chat fever through participating in #EdChat sessions on Tuesdays and as a board member and social media liaison for the Alabama School Library Association (ASLA) I began a twitter chat session for Alabama School Librarians.  This chat attracted not only librarians from Alabama but around the nations and the world.  Two years into the chat sessions for ASLA, Joyce Valenza proposed a chat for the Teacher-Librarian network through the TL Virtual Cafe organizers. Through tweets with Joyce we merged ASLA's Twitter chats with the emerging TL Chat and am proud to be a part of the moderating team for this empowering chat for teacher librarians. Without 140 characters I wouldn't have been awarded the AASL Bound to Stay Bound Grant to attend the National AASL Conference in Hartford, CT this November.  The icing on top is that I will be rooming at the conference with the amazing Tiffany Whitehead (aka: The Mighty Little Librarian) all arranged through 140 characters on Twitter.

Read more about #TLChat sessions here.

Yes! Great personal/professional connections can be made 140 characters at a time!

I have many other examples of how 140 characters have changed my life, but I'd love to hear from others about the power of 140 characters.  Please add your examples to the Padlet below:

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