Fear vs. Exhilaration


Fear = I don’t know if I should share/try/deploy this new tech tool/teaching strategy/business model. It could fail catastrophically!

Exhilaration = I can’t wait to try this out with my students/teachers/employees. This is going to make things so much better!

I used to worry about sharing my work here on this blog and on social media. I was afraid that someone would “steal” my stuff. I imagined that another educator would scoop up my idea and claim it as their own in an article, a book or a tweet. But then I read Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work by Austin Kleon and my mindset was TRANSFORMED!

Mr. Kleon writes that you don’t have to be a genius (I’m definitely not) to share your work. He claims that we should make an effort to share something small every day emphasizing that you can’t find your voice if you don’t use it. Kleon also states that you should stick around and not give up so easily. It takes time to build a following and those of us who have continued to share, post and tweet are reaping the benefits of establishing and maintaining a vibrant PLN (Personal Learning Network).

This quote has inspired me to transform my fear into exhilaration and I plan to reflect on it when the “worry whispers” begin to create feelings of anxiety and doubt.

Teachers on Twitter

Passionate educators pushing the envelope

Lifelong learners honing their craft

Changing the world one tweet at a time

Expanding, enhancing, growing.

Riding the hashtags of

#weekly edchats

participant-led #edcamps,

#conferences, and #workshops.

Meeting like-minded teachers from all over the globe

Expanding their PLNs

digitally collaborating

GROWING exponentially.

Always learning


Personalized PD

“The best I’ve ever had!”

Dedicated professionals

committed to their students

Finding new ways to teach

sharing what works and what doesn’t.

Empowered educators

tweeting about their students, their colleagues, their schools

creating good content

Bragging about their work!

CONNECTING their students with

awesome authors,

wise experts,

and their peers across the world.

Gaining inspiration

from teachers, admins and ed leaders

Passion-driven, teacher-directed

Learning in its purest form.



How I Hacked My PD: The Power of Twitter As a 24/7 Learning Tool

THE BEST VIEWHave you ever wanted to be in two places at the same time? Do you often feel as if you’re being pulled in twenty different directions? In my roles as District Coordinator of Instructional Technology, ELA teacher, and father of four I frequently feel this way. Saturday was a good example of this as there were two education conferences in the NY Metropolitan area that I really wanted to attend, but family responsibilities prevented me from going to either of them. However, Twitter made it possible for me to “be” in three places at once!

Twitter Wordle 2013-06-25

Long Island Connected Educators Summit 2015 (#CELI15)


Teachers’ College Reading and Writing Project 88th Reunion (#TCRWP)


Learning NEVER Stops on Twitter

The awesome power of Twitter allowed me to participate in both conferences simultaneously while at my son’s snowy LAX practice. As I sat in my car, I “rode” or followed both hashtags simultaneously using TweetDeck. I was immersed in learning: gathering lesson ideas for my ELA classes, favoriting new EdTech apps for my students and teachers to try and interacting with the participants in both conferences. This was pure bliss for an education technology geek like myself. It’s a prime example of Personalized PD and it’s absolutely FREE!


Six Take-Aways From My Personalized PD Session on Twitter:

  1. Six Signposts Prezi Presentation: Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading is an excellent book co-written by one of the keynote speakers at the TCRWP  reunion. I’m somewhat familiar with the book, but the golden nugget I found yesterday was discovered via the #NoticeandNote hashtag. Jamison Renfro had shared a truly awesome Prezi of the six signposts that authors of fiction use to alert you to important information. This outstanding presentation includes video link examples for each signpost. It is one of the coolest Prezi’s I’ve seen. You can view it and save a copy of it here: Six Signposts Prezi The Six Signposts
  2. Sneak Preview of the Six Nonfiction Signposts: Kylene Beers gave attendees a preview of her brand new Nonfiction Signposts and Allison Wasserman tweeted it out.      CBNhyocUMAEqJvx-2
  3. ParentCamp & Voxer: Amy Nardone shared her team’s entire presentation on google slides. Now the world can view this awesome presentation on maximizing Family-School partnerships! ParentCamp & Voxer Presentation ParentCamp & Voxer - #CELI15
  4. Teaching Figurative Language With “What Does the Fox Say?” Paul McNeil shared this excellent video that I will use to review different types of figurative language in class tomorrow. 
  5. Scratch: If you’d like to change the face of education, implement Scratch Julian Aptowitz shared this amazing website that allows students to create and share stories, games and animations while learning to code. You can check it out here: Scratch super_scratch_programming_adventure
  6. SLIME: Students of Long Island Maker Expo: WWP Library in Farmingdale, NY shared this flyer for an amazing expo celebrating the creativity and innovation of Long island students in grades K-12. Click the image to get your free tickets to this event.


This is just a little taste of what I learned in one afternoon of riding hashtags. The awesome power of self-directed, personalized PD on Twitter is simply remarkable. I’ve learned more in a few months on Twitter than in years of traditional professional development. I strongly suggest you choose a hashtag or two and RIDE!!


For Further Reading

How to Become a Better Educator

How and Why Educators Use Twitter: A Survey of the Field

Engagement Through Microblogging: Educator Professional Development via Twitter