People I’ve Never Met That You Might Follow

My friend Paul McGuire is doing a session at our upcoming Day of Discovery event in Ottawa and asked me for some people I’d recommend to follow on twitter. I was hesitant to respond because I feel it’s a fairly personal choice. So rather than giving handles via twitter, I thought I’d blog about it to also show that the this is likely a better medium to have more contextual conversations.

In addition, I thought I’d challenge myself to share the handles of people that I’ve never met, yet still think are worth following on twitter. It’s easy for me to recommend folks I know because I read them in context and understand their voice. Twitter is a hard space to figure that out without significant time investment. Here are a few people I think have something to offer that I’ve not met but know after reading them for some time.

@wmchamberlain I’ve known Will for a long time but only online. I’m not sure if he’s ever spoken on a big stage but I would consider him a thought leader. He’ll challenge you as well as encourage you. Personable and wicked smart.

@sylviaduckworth Sylvia has become a go-to person … Read the rest

The Good Old Days

It’s not my birthday. More on the photo in a bit.

Today I was introduced by Jennifer Cronk as someone who has been around the world of edtech for a while. She’s right. I started blogging 10 years ago, opened my twitter account 9 years ago. That’s like a 100 in normal people years. It’s odd to look back at the changes but today’s post by George Couros has me reminiscing.

I also liked this quote and have used it often.

People seem to get nostalgic about a lot of things they weren’t so crazy about the first time around. ~Author Unknown

In 2005 the world of blogging was a bit like being a pioneer. Few people were doing it and most people didn’t even know what it was. I was able to connect with people around the world, have people comment and interact on topics most people I knew weren’t that interested in discussing. In those days, spending time online made you a nerd. I blogged a lot because I was finding new things all the time. It was my way of documenting and sharing that really. As I become more confident, I tackled more challenging topics. In many … Read the rest

The #deanies


What are the #deanies? Simple. They are a prestigious award designed to recognize the very best in education. Or maybe not.

As with much of my goofiness on twitter, this started on an impulse. I’m not 100% sure what triggered it but I think I was reading my stream and someone posting about an award they won. There is lots of controversy out there about the need and purpose of awards. Frankly, I’m not that invested in the conversation. However, I think, for the most part, they don’t mean a lot other than someone thinks you deserve some recognition, which is a good thing. But the reality is, most awards are given by small groups of people with little or no authority. Again, that’s not a big deal but then I wondered, what’s stopping me from giving out awards? And the first #deanie was born.

Since then, I’ve given out more than 100 #deanies. You can view them here or here or even here (be sure to filter by twitter). My criteria follow strict guidelines of whim … Read the rest

Who has the hardest job?

Every once in a while I tweet something only to realize it lacks context and nuance that makes for horrible conversation and goes against many of the things I think makes Twitter a poor place for deep conversation. Like this one:

These are the tweets that get retweeted and favorited but also create some questions and reactions that are difficult to explore in 140. So here I am.

This tweet was borne out of mostly living with a teacher and being one too. I know I never worked harder than when I was in the classroom. I work long hours now, perhaps more than when I taught but one I still remember the biggest thing I gained when I left the classroom was autonomy of my time. Being able to go the bathroom when I wanted was a luxury I didn’t have for the 14 years I taught grades 1-8. Being able to take 10 minutes to walk across the office to chat with a co-worker about … Read the rest

What Educators Should Tweet About

Gotcha. I have no idea what educators should tweet about. Consider the title pure link bait. (Was thinking about titling it “I tweeted this out and you’ll never guess what happened next”, but that’s more of an Upworthy thing)

Actually there are many people who have created helpful guidelines and tools for educators delving into social media. I’m the last person you probably would look for to advise folks on how to use twitter. Having been using it for over 8 years and almost 100,000 tweets I’m still unsure and hesitate on sharing with people who to use it. The ways are varied and nuanced.

But I can share some of the ways I’ve used it, so here’s my unofficial guide to using twitter.

1. Post random song lyrics.

Often as I’m listening to music, a lyric will strike me and posting it offers a little puzzle piece and for those that see it as such, builds this tiny connection of getting an inside joke.

2. Get people to do challenges at live events.


Read the rest