In 2009, I joined Facebook because everyone else was. I really had no idea what I was getting in to. I enjoyed the photos, the notifications, the statuses (well, most of them), and the adding of friends. For two years- I checked it every week and commented on things that really didn’t matter much to me. In 2011, I began using it as a blog of sorts. I would share out my opinions, educational tips, ministry updates, and motivational posts. I checked it every day and was beginning to enjoy the attention it received. In 2012, Anna Strassner from Discovery Education, encouraged me to join Twitter and become a Star Discovery Educator. I am up for almost anything so I said yes. Within a few weeks I was a STAR. (Of course my mom and dad have always thought that). I began reading the blogs and became fascinated about a teacher from Pennsylvania who was riding her horse to Bozeman, Montana. I reached out to her through the “tweeting” thing and found out about an institute called “DENSI” (Discovery Education Network Summer Institute). I again jumped out of my box and applied for this……Got it! I was immediately introduced to more of Twitter and now a strange sounding group called Edmodo. Needless to say, I was now a social media enthusiast. Haha!
At the DEN Summer Institute, Steve Dembo introduced me to the amazing world that is Twitter. I told him that I had been Twitting for a while. He laughed and kindly gave me a better word to use and my whole world changed. Before I left the institute in Montana, I had 40 followers and had “twitted” (old habits die hard) about 50 times.
Now I use my social media platforms in many great ways. Mostly for growing and sharing with my PLN. (Yep- that is a new acronym for me too). My professional learning network has grown by leaps and bounds. On a daily basis, I tweet, Facebook, post in Edmodo, and even lately I have been exploring the world of FourSquare (thanks Tim Childers). I have slowly been getting a couple of blogs rolled out. I meet weekly with an up and coming DEN Stars group from Durham, NC and manage a very successful TpT store and blog. Obviously I am not “THERE” yet but I do believe that I have unlocked the goodness of social media.
I would like to say that I am a better educator for it. Just a few days go- I walked a friend through joining Twitter, accessing SKYPE, and setting up her first event with an Olympian star. She called me her hero and was impressed with how much I knew. Thanks to Anna, Jan, Steve, and Tim- I am paying it forward and for that I am very grateful.