Follow me on Twitter @Tbowers3 Just Sayin…
One of our continual goals is to communicate more effectively both internally within the Worthington Schools and externally with our community. Likewise as Randy Banks told our new teachers, we want to connect with one another as professional colleagues and we want to connect with the students and families we serve. One way to do this is through our expanding use of Twitter.
For a year or more I heard others speak of Twitter but I really did not understand its use or appeal. Tweets are a maximum of 140 characters and I wasn’t sure what I would tweet or who would want to read anything I did tweet. About a year ago I finally took the Twitter plunge and I opened my free account. In the beginning I followed mostly sports writers from ESPN, the Columbus Dispatch, etc. Eventually I began following educators from across the state of Ohio and nation. (If you’re reading this blog on the WordPress site and not over email you can see my Twitter feed on the right hand column of the blog. If you’re reading this blog via email click on Exponential Impact to go to the actual website.)
Over time I followed Twitter users who were recommended by digital peers or whom I knew in person. Each of their updates appeared automatically on my Twitter homepage. I could look inside the minds of my motivated peers to learn about the new projects they were undertaking, the research reports they were studying, and web sites they were exploring. As my comfort with Twitter grew—a process that took a few months, as is typical for new users—I became an active contributor to this knowledge network.
I’m constantly energized by my Twitter network because I have easy access to a stream of customized information and ideas that motivate me—one characteristic of differentiated learning. This information is customized because I follow only Twitter posters who discuss topics I’m eager to learn about. Although I can’t read every message generated by the 200 education professionals whose updates I now follow, I skim through posts for 15-20 minutes each morning and afternoon.
Using the Reply and Direct Message options, I join conversations with individual members of this digital community, offering suggestions, asking questions, and celebrating successes. As with most digital conversations, I can either make my replies visible to everyone who’s following my updates or target private replies to certain individuals.
I now turn to Twitter friends for help in the same way that I turn to the administrators at the WEC. Furthermore, I learn something new about Worthington Schools every day. Earlier this week @wkhswolves tweeted out a picture of Coach Souder catching a shark on vacation. Likewise @aadrean challenged my thinking with an article on servant leadership and @TWHS_Cardinals reminded me that the TWHS football team was camping together at a farm in Southern Ohio. Twitter is bringing me closer to peers around the state and to my own school district.
This year we are going to be intentional about trying to expand our usage of twitter to connect with one another and our community. Here is a list of the twitter feeds in Worthington you may want to follow. (This is not an exhaustive list and certainly is incomplete. There are many co-curricular and student groups who have twitter accounts but are not listed here.)
@tbowers3 (Assistant Superintendent, Trent Bowers)
@WCSdistrict (The official Twitter feed of Worthington Schools)
@TWHS_Cardinals (Thomas Worthington High Schools)
@WKHSWolves (Worthington Kilbourne High School)
@LinworthAPNewts (Linworth Alternative Program)
@GranbyGators (Granby Elementary)
@Brooksidepta (Brookside Elementary PTA)
@BluffsviewPTA (Bluffsview Elementary PTA)
@jenniferwene (Director of Academic Achievement, Jennifer Wene)
@aadrean (WKHS Principal and prolific tweeter, Angie Adrean)
@petescully1 (Kilbourne Middle Principal, Pete Scully)
@64Kuri (McCord Middle Principal, Michael Kuri)
@aschirg (New McCord Assistant Principal, Adham Schirg)
@pschlaegel (Granby Principal, Patti Schlaegel)
@k12deputyCIO (Technology Guru, John Lucero)
@marcschare (BOE Member, Marc Schare)
@jenniferbest (BOE Member, Jennifer Best)
@abbott_Brianna (WKHS Guidance Counselor, Brianna Abbott)
@ArielSchwartz7 (WKHS Guidance Counselor, Ariel Schwartz)
@AndreaGratz (WKHS Guidance Counselor, Andrea Gratz)
@Kickit_Cir (WKHS Science Teacher, Courtney Irwin)
@skhorn (WKHS Media Teacher, Sandra Kucinich-Horn)
@kelleychase1 (WKHS Science Teacher, Kelley Chase)
@AnnEVance (TWHS Science Teacher, Ann Vance)
@missbarrtwhs (TWHS Math Teacher, Laurie Barr)
@GussStrong15 (TWHS Baseball Coach, Stephen Gussler)
@runtrack (TWHS Athletic Director, Scott Dorne)