Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Tools I'd Like My Future Principal To Consider: Twitter

From the article Meet Your New PD Tool in Scholastic Administrator magazine:
"I really think anybody who doesn't spend a little time building a personal network is doing themselves and their school a disservice. If we're not modeling this stuff for our teachers and students, then I don't think we're doing our jobs."
                                                             (p. 31, quoting Patrick Larkin, @bhsprincipal)
I'd like my future principal to consider that statement and ask themselves if they are modeling what it's like to be a lifelong learner, a connected learner, for our students if they aren't actively using and harnessing the power of social media. I'd like my future principal to not only have an active presence on Twitter, but I'd like them to engage their administrative team and the entire faculty in a discussion of how best to leverage these new tools (as well as the possible negative aspects that are indeed present). I'd like them to lead a discussion about how the staff could use tools like Twitter for their own personalized professional development:
For Sheninger, tweeting is like directed Googling. "Instead of doing a Google search, you're harnessing human power, a human-generated search engine driven by education professionals who are passionate and have determined that having an online presence will have a dramatic, positive impact on their professional practice."
                                                              (p. 31, quoting Eric Sheninger, @nmhs_principal).
I'd like them to lead a discussion not only about how to leverage tools such as Twitter to broadcast information to our community, but how to also use those tools to engage our community as learners. I'd like that discussion to extend to ways to have our students engage with other passionate learners around the globe - safely, meaningfully, and effectively.

I'd like my future principal - and their entire administrative team - to know what #cpchat is, and what folks are referring to when they talk about the Connected Principal's blog, or CASTLE. I'd like them to know not only Patrick and Eric, but Chris and Lyn and George and Josie and . . . the list goes on and on (including lots and lots of folks that I don't know . . . yet, or perhaps ever, it doesn't matter as their network will be personal to them.)

I'd like them not to be surprised by some of the things Eric says in this video:

Video credit:

"24/7. When I need it. From anywhere in the world. To me that's power. It's helping my students see a new world. It give me goosebumps every time I think about it." - Eric Sheninger in the video
I want my future principal to help our students see - and participate - in this new world.


  1. Well said Karl! In my school, we talk about Lyn, Eric, George, Tom, Bill, yourself, and many others as if they teach next door. I often state that the 10 people who influence me the most on a daily basis, I have never met! I too believe it is irresponsible for not only a leader, but any educator to be disconnected. Our students deserve much more than to be limited to what one teacher, one principal, or one district knows and is able to do!

  2. Karl, I'm a licensed professional counselor in Castle Rock, Colorado. I can so relate to your blog post and to Shawn's statements above. Mental health professionals,like educators, could . . . should be using Twitter and other social media tools to further their own professional development!

    I also want to suggest that mental health professionals (and educators, too, I would think) are responsible for being culturally sensitive and culturally aware of the clients (your students and colleagues?) we work with. To that extent, how can a therapist (or an educator) work with children and teens and NOT fluently speak the language of social media?! The culture has changed . . . and it's critical that we ALL change with it . . . if we intend to be effective in these professions.

    Karl, you are in my own backdoor in Highlands Ranch. If there is anything I can do to support you, your colleagues, or your students, I hope you'll feel free to yell. Happy to collaborate and support along the way. After all . . . you and I are changing the world one client / one student at a time!

  3. Karl, thank you for sharing this information. I will be passing it along to my leadership team. When the benefits of Twitter are observed, ed leaders are more willing to utilize Twitter as a PLN and encourage their staff to do so as well.