Social Networking and Leadership

Here is a guest post from my teaching partner, Chantelle Davies about the use of twitter to encourage learning within the school.  Many people are already using twitter in their personal lives so using twitter for professional discussions would be an easy what to get collaboration going in schools

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There are many ways to be a leader in a school.  You may be a principal, a consultant, a team or division leader, or simply (like me...hopefully) a leader in helping your staff to learn something new or work through a problem together.  Regardless of the extent of your leadership role, twitter is a tool that can be a great resource for staying connected with your staff.  In the school system, we often work in isolation and it is challenging to collaborate or plan times where everyone can come together.  With traditional methods, leaders must find a way to pull everyone together.  Using twitter keeps the doors of communication open 24/7. It encourages staff to all be contributors to the conversation and provides you (the leader) with a way sharing ideas in a format that does not require a boring staff meeting when everyone just wants to go home.  In addition, traditionally the leader does most of the sharing and the other participants listen an ask questions when prompted.  I have included a link here by Elana Lioni from Edutopia on 8 Tips to Create a Twitter-Driven School Culture.  I love number seven: Conduct a Twitter Chat.  What a great way to find out what staff want to know more about; and in addition, encourage them to learn from each other.  With twitter chat, leaders can ask prompting questions that allow all members to reflect and share their knowledge.  It also allows the opportunity to bring other experts into your conversation without requiring them to drive into your meeting as would be required in a traditional sharing setting.

Would the leader in your school be willing to consider using twitter to start a conversation at your school?  How might you help encourage staff members to support this new and innovative initiative?

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