By @Traci_Flowers, Loyola Academy
My Twitter addiction
I joined Twitter a few years ago. I had a personal account, and would try to talk to country music artist Blake Shelton ;). I thought it was just another social media outlet to follow celebrities, and I did not realize the professional networking potential. Like all new things, it seemed overwhelming; I didn’t really give Twitter a chance until recently, when I discovered the best professional development tool around: Twitter chats.
This fall, my school became a 1:1 iPad institution and I felt empowered to use Twitter more. I was excited about the possibilities this technology could bring my school, my department, and my profession. I googled “how to use Twitter,” and I stumbled upon some blogs that held “Twitter chats.” After my encounter with the chats, I was hooked. It took me some time to organize my thoughts and understand the process, but I became addicted
My first official tweet chat was with #sccrowd (school counseling crowd sourcing internationally). I reached out to #EMchat (enrollment management chat) and #scchat (school counseling chats). I found that counselors wanted resources, counselors had questions, and counselors got answers from a global community. It was fun, it was invigorating, and I couldn’t get enough!
Those silly hashtags and symbols I always assumed were #notforme are actually a conversation between the most passionate people in the field who are eager to share ideas. Who better to share ideas than some of the most involved, passionate, leaders in the profession – IACAC members! By following tweets at a conference, or from other high schools, universities, community based organizations, and independent counselors, I was linked in to things that were happening in the field of #collegeadmission.
My first few tweets were scary, but after a while I became comfortable and confident. I was surrounded by professionals who tweeted amazing resources, presentations, articles, helpful tips and words of encouragement. Articles were shared about: the role of parents in the admission process, student engagement, campus visit mistakes, advocating for your student with Autism, and Dreamers sharing their stories. All of these resources are available because of my personal learning network.
#EMchat, #FAchat, #SCcrowd, #SCChat share a wealth of information, opinions, and ideas. As a college counselor, I have made a commitment to Twitter-time. It’s a dialogue about trends and topics that are relevant to the field. Whether creating a new lesson plan that involves the #SAMR model, or getting information about #firstgen, I find such resources incredibly useful.
So give it a try. Ask for advice. Post questions. Collaborate and engage as much or as little as you want. Most importantly, participate in IACAC’s first Twitter chat on April 15 at 7:00 pm using #IACACchat!