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Twitter one week on

So I’ve now been using Twitter for a whole week.  I’ve heard lots about it in the past – generally from people I considered quite ‘techy’ and often about using it in the classroom.  Nothing that I’d heard ever made me consider it was an avenue I was that desperate to wander down – more a slightly suspect alley that didn’t look at all appealing, even for a tentative stroll.

And then there was Life.  As a member of the Teacher Design Group for Life I was sat in a very exciting meeting where half the people in the room were tweeting about what we doing – as we were doing it – it was adding to the conversation in the room, and people from outside of the room were joining in the discussion.  I have to admit my first reaction was a tiny bit of panic.  This was the alley that had often looked a little suspect – too much litter and not enough light.

But I’m brave.  Sometimes.  I knew that these people were coping with it, excited by it even.  So it couldn’t be that bad, surely?  And besides which, they all had such interesting things to say and if these conversations were going to keep going on out of this room that was DEFINITELY something I wanted to be a part of.  And I was fairly sure that once upon a time I had set up a Twitter account.

So I peered cautiously down the alley.  Luckily a few friendly faces from that meeting were there already – it’s always easier when you’re welcomed in.  I started to look at what they had posted; and explored a few links.  And actually followed them.  I was getting further into this alley and realised that, if you had someone to guide you a little, there wasn’t much litter – and there was so much light!  Not at all scary – in fact fascinating and exciting (and not a little overwhelming.)

Then I remembered a few friends who I was almost certain would be around somewhere – and they were: more posts to read, links to explore and more following. And people were following me!  And not just my friends…

Now if I really was in the dodgy alley I had thought I was venturing into this would have been an issue, but by this time I had realised it was no alley – more an ever-growing, ever-changing landscape.  (I’d have quite like to use valley at this point in my rather over the top metaphor but I can’t cope with the alley/valley rhyme so I thought I’d leave it!)

And now I’m hooked.

I’m hooked because this is one of the best CPD opportunities I’ve ever had – and it’s only just started.
I’m hooked because people have been so welcoming that I feel I belong here and I’m not expected to some how bide my time, pay my dues, work my way up.
I’m hooked because I’ve found somewhere where the people who I am listening to and talking with are people who I get: I understand their ideas and their issues and their passion and I can relate to it all.
I’m hooked because this is such a positive place to communicate and collaborate and create.

And I’m hooked because this is not the strange buildings I once explored called uk.education.teachers and uk.education.chat where people were generally friendly, but there was often a sense of negativity and too often people would feed the trolls! (Look it up in the history books if this means nothing to you.)

So thank you to everyone I’ve met so far on Twitter, I look forward to learning and sharing lots more with you all, and thank you particularly to @FionaAS because she was definitely the one who inspired me to overcome my fears.

(And by the way, I do know that there are downsides: I am beginning to think in tweets, time just disappears, I would need to be superhuman to follow up every interesting link, and if you get involved in #edchat then when you try to go to sleep at 12.30am all you can see are at symbols and hashtags!)

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