Getting Connected for Learning and Leading
Explore and apply a variety of digital
learning tools to enhance your
professional learning and
digital leadership skills!
“Ask and It will be given to you;
search, and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened for you.”
To build your online presence and capacity as a connected Catholic school leader for professional learning and networking
Introducing the challenge
In the previous challenge, we looked at how connected leaders use social media tools like Twitter to build professional learning networks to enhance their leadership practices and learn with other educators across the globe. In this challenge, we focus on getting connected by setting up and customizing your own personal Twitter account. If you are already an active twitter user, take this opportunity to further extend your Twitter skills and professional learning networks.
PQP Curriculum Connections
● Keeping current with research through the development of your own PLN
● Modelling the changing role of the Principal
The Ontario Catholic Leadership Framework
● Building Relationships and Developing People
● Improving the Instructional Practice
ISTE Standards for Administrators
● Digital Age Learning Culture
● Digital Citizenship
Twitter Basics: Reply, Retweet and Favourite
Use Reply to respond to someone’s tweet
Use Retweet to repost someone’s tweet
Use Favorite to show that you likes someone’s tweet without reposting it
Doing the challenge
“Twitter was new to me…It can actually be a place of thoughtful discussion, easy web
page and article sharing, and a place to bounce ideas off of one another.” – Angela Hare
“Connected learners need connected leaders.” – Jennifer Casa-Todd
We begin this challenge with two videos that show how educators are using Twitter to build professional learning networks and lead a culture of change that promotes community engagement and student voice. Think about how you might use Twitter and other social media tools to further develop your own professional learning and leadership practices.
If you are new to Twitter, begin by creating a Twitter account and profile.
- Get a twitter account here
- View this video as a guide to set up a twitter account
- View this video to guide your first tweet
If you are active on Twitter already, explore one of the suggested sites below to further expand your Twitter knowledge and use as an educator:
The Educators Ultimate Guide to Twitter, 2014 Sue Water’s blog is an excellent site for both new and active twitter users and includes 23 tips for learning how to create an online presence with twitter in a safe and effective manner. Below are some examples of the tips provided in her guide:
- Tips on choosing who to follow
- Tips for engaging in Twitter conversations
- How to use Twitter Hashtags
Twitter for Educators As an Ontario educator, David Spencer’s site provides valuable tips and resources for learning with Twitter.
As a new or experienced twitter user, post and share a new learning, reflection or idea with someone you are following on Twitter or another online PLN community. Share some of your recent learnings and experiences in using social media tools in your class reflection sheet. Some questions to guide your thinking;
- What social media tools or platforms have you found beneficial to supporting your professional learning and leadership practices?
- What do see as some of the benefits and challenges in using social media as a connected leader?
Sample Reflections from PQP Candidates
“Now that I’m up and running with Twitter I realize that it isn’t just about celebrating, there is a wide knowledge base that is ready to be tapped into. When reading some of the blog posts in George Couros “Social Media for Administrators” I realize that I could empower staff to be part of a learning community via Twitter. In a post titled “What Digital Accelerates” I came to realize that innovation can happening a lot faster than it use to because of the connections educators can make through social networks. Our bubble of sharing is larger, we don’t have to wait for a face to face meetings to deliver information. People can share information in a timely manner, moving the conversation forward so when you do have the meeting people are already 3 pages ahead instead of 1. Digital communities allow us as leaders to accelerate, amplify and empower our staff. It has taken the organizational pyramid of top down thinking and flattened it. It is our job as leaders to encourage this “flat” thinking and embrace an innovator’s mindset. When I saw this graphic from one of George Couros tweets it made me think of all the conversations we have had regarding what the role of the principal is. I think it sums it up nicely. I’d like to move forward with Twitter with the goal of joining a Canadian EdChat @cdnedchat on a Monday evening. I also want to become more confident when posting my own thoughts and celebrations and using the information I encounter on Twitter to inspire others to use the tool. For the next board PD day on April 7th. I have already asked one of the itinerant music teachers to show his colleagues how he is using Twitter to showcase student work and his own teaching.” – C. Bencina, 2017
Beyond the challenge…
- Twitter – Getting Connected – Jennifer Casa-Todd
- Using Twitter Effectively in Education – Alex Couros
- 10 Ways Principals can use Twitter to Engage Stakeholders – Dwight Carter
- Twitter for Educators – Pinterest Collection by Anibal Pacheco
- Managing Your Social Media Tools: How to set up and use Hootsuite – Ashley Perkins