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Dec 3, 2013 | By: Beth McGinnis-Cavanaugh

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In the spirit of Twitter, this blog is hopefully short and to the point.  I’ll admit it—I’m a Twitter lover.  I use it both personally and professionally, and find it to be a super source of information and breaking news as well as a great way to cultivate contacts.  It packs a punch, at least for me—lots of input in very small bits.  It comes without commitment or obligation, which I like—I can choose to pursue topics in detail without the wading frequently required before the cut to the chase.  It also allows flexibility in topic because I'm in control—I can choose whom or what I follow.  Personally, I follow over 2000 individuals and organizations which run the gamut from the New England Patriots—go team!—to the National Science Foundation—another winning team!  Professionally, Team Through My Window (Twitter handle: @TMWorg) is building its Twitter presence one follower at a time, reaching out to the informal education community and other important stakeholders in engineering education. 

Many folks I know don’t like Twitter.  In fact, some have an absolute disdain for it.  But I believe it has untold value in making connections and sharing information, especially for educators.  I recently came across “Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything” on Twitter.  Kathy’s site has a page devoted to “Twitter for Teachers”—a cornucopia of Twitter resources for educators.  Clearly, this indicates that educators are active on Twitter and are striving to use it in effective ways.  And that leads me to wonder whether or not you, as an afterschool educator or administrator, find it useful on a professional level.

As a project team, we’re trying to learn if and how Twitter helps and informs the afterschool community.  We see it as a basic outreach tool but think it could be much more.  Consistent with our desire to create a learning community that actually works for educators, we believe that Twitter lends itself well to easily sharing ideas and resources at the convenience of the user—that is, at your convenience.  Ideally, with a robust following of afterschool educators, administrators, and staff, Twitter could form the basis of a meaningful learning community that effectively addresses your needs. 

So, afterschool community, tweet us @TMWorg!  In 140 characters or less, let us know if and how you use Twitter professionally.  In a perfect world, how would Twitter work most effectively for you?  Check out our Twitter page (that's it below) and give us a follow!

   

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 1223868 and 1223460.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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