I was so excited to see my great friend Kristina Peters send this tweet this morning:
I added the official hashtag #NEAdminDays to Tweetdeck and I was looking forward to following along virtually. Most of the tweets seemed to be coming from the same handful of accounts. I used a site called HashTracking to run some numbers to see what the conversation surrounding the hashtag looked like. There was a total of 235 tweets sent using the hashtag and over 50% of those were retweets. The official account, @NCSAToday, sent nearly half of the original tweets. The top 3 tweeters sent 78% of the tweets associated with the hashtag.
There are approximately 1000 principals, superintendents, curriculum directors, and other educators attending Administrator Days. Many of these administrators have heard both Scott McLeod and Eric Sheninger speak at past Administrator Day events about the power of being connected. I’m willing to bet that quite a few have also attended at least one of the Administrator Bootcamps and learned more about how to use Twitter from Lynne Herr and Jackie Ediger. I, along with a couple other people, wondered why so few people were tweeting when they more than likely have Twitter accounts.
I’m incredibly passionate about being a connected educator. My network has helped shape me into the educator that I am today. My beliefs regarding education have been heavily influenced by my PLN (personal learning network) and I have been provided with some incredible opportunities because of the connections I have made over the years.
I want to throw down a challenge to those administrators attending Nebraska Administrator Days this year. (For those of you who are already connected and reading this please share with those who are NOT connected so they can participate in this challenge.) I think part of the reason some administrators don’t dive into Twitter is because they don’t see the value. It is so easy to get fired up about using Twitter, but that energy can fade very quickly if you don’t feel like you have a clear reason or purpose to tweet. I have come up with a half-baked plan to encourage Nebraska administrators to really start using Twitter to its full potential.
The following challenge is only open to Nebraska administrators who are not already consistent users of Twitter. Here’s the challenge:
If you stick with this for a full year I can say without a doubt that you will have your “a-ha” moment at some point and you will be hooked. There isn’t a chance you will stick with Twitter until you have that moment. My hope is that this challenge will be enough to get you active enough on Twitter so you can experience that a-ha moment. If you signed up for Twitter within the last few years, but never used it, now is the time to give it another try. I understand that the mere promise of an a-ha moment is not enough to keep you tweeting so I’m upping the ante. If you fill out this form by September 15, 2013 and fulfill the four stipulations listed above, your name will be placed in a drawing to receive one full day of professional development by yours truly at some date during the 2014-2015 school year. This means enough to me that I’m willing to use my ONLY TWO personal days to come to your district. My only requirement is that your district pays for my travel and lodging expenses. This is a pretty good deal! Most of the educators I know who consult charge anywhere from $2000-$4000 per day on top of their travel expenses. By now you are probably wondering why I would do this. I believe that if you become a connected administrator then many of your teachers will follow suit. If your teachers get connected it will be beneficial to your students. This really matters to me so I’m willing to invest my time sharing my knowledge and skills.
My areas of expertise include building a personal learning network, using digital tools to find and organize information, blogging, Moodle, teaching in blended environments, creating online classes, and using Google Apps for Education. I have presented on these topics at a variety of conferences across the country over the last few years. By the end of this year I will be well-versed on Chromebooks, too. I will work with you to create a customized workshop that will fit the needs of your teachers.
So what do you say? What do you have to lose by either creating a new Twitter account or dusting off an old one that you had every intention of using at one time? Tim Garcia, principal at McCook Elementary said it best this morning when he sent this tweet. I hope you will step out of your comfort zone and take me up on my challenge to dive into the Twitterverse!
Don’t forget to fill out the form!
Updated on August 1—
I forgot to include an explanation for how I will track this challenge throughout the year. Once you fill out the form I will add you to a list called NEAdminDays Challenge that I will create using Tweetedeck. I will be able to follow you much easier this way. If you subscribe to the list you will be able to follow it, too! This is definitely not a gimmick to get new followers. I’d be honored if you followed me, but it is definitely not one of the requirements! The only person you have to follow is George Couros. The rest of the people you follow is up to you!
I figured by turning this into a friendly challenge it might be the catalyst to connect you to each other and to other super educators from around the globe. Please share this with the people at your table today and in your districts when you go back home. Feel free to turn this into a challenge at your own school. Get your teachers in on it! Have fun with it. Getting connected is about learning and growing. The form will be open until September 15, 2013.
Here are some additional resources to help you start your journey: