Assistant Professor of Education, Elon University
Many education policy makers and advocacy groups are busy using Twitter to disseminate various narratives about education and teacher preparation. Is your voice part of the conversation? Learn how to make the most of this platform in a free AACTE-sponsored webinar next week on how teacher educators can use Twitter more effectively, particularly in advocating for their programs and for the profession. We will present the webinar, Educator Preparation Programs Taking Twitter to the Next Level, for AACTE members only on Thursday, November 5, at 1:00 p.m. EST.
Education is no longer a profession in which teachers retreat to their classrooms and close their doors to work in isolation. Today, many teachers are involved in their professional associations, school-based professional learning teams, and increasingly in virtual collaboration of different kinds. Using a variety of technology tools such as Edmodo, Google Hangouts, Twitter, and more, many teachers are reaching out beyond their schools, districts, and even countries, to develop virtual networks that provide both professional challenge and support.
Despite common caricatures of Twitter as the domain of callow teens and celebrity stalkers, it is a technology that should be taken seriously by teacher educators. Although social media has had a dramatic impact on communication in the modern world, the field of teacher preparation has been largely reluctant to add its voices to the mix. It is high time that we wake up to the role new media can play in our professional lives—and to the risks of remaining on the sidelines.
We have seen what can happen when we allow others to decide how our story is told, especially those who view our work with suspicion or even outright hostility. When U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that “many if not most of the nation’s 1,450 schools, colleges, and departments of education are doing a mediocre job of preparing teachers for the realities of the 21st-century classroom,” for example, that message won broad circulation, including in social media. Today, the secretary’s and the U.S. Department of Education’s Twitter accounts reach more than 500,000 individuals. By comparison, AACTE’s Twitter account has approximately 5,600 followers.
How can you use Twitter to market and promote your work? We’ll show you during a free webinar for AACTE members, “Twitter 101 for Leaders in Educator Preparation,” a spin-off from our interactive dialogue presented at AACTE’s 67th Annual Meeting in February.
On Wednesday, May 27, at 1:00 p.m. EDT, this webinar will provide a rationale for the use of Twitter, an overview of the platform, and best practices for use by you and your educator preparation program in this AACTE webinar. You’ll gain insight on how to leverage Twitter to tell your story to candidates, alumni, policy makers, and the public at large.