Friday, September 11, 2015

Fermata Fridays: Build Your PLN!

Hi everyone!

I am re-posting a blog post about building your Professional Learning Network to link up with Elizabeth Caldwell for Fermata Fridays!!

    I'm not sure who exactly is reading my blog these days. I know that my family is, as well as some of my friends, and other teacher bloggers definitely pop in from time to time, but no matter who is reading, I love that it's a diverse audience. I really enjoy sharing my experiences as an elementary music teacher here at Hoffman Boston- Home of the All Stars!

That being said, this post will really only be of interest to other teachers. I am thoroughly enjoying the growth of my Professional Learning Network (PLN) on Twitter. I know that I've talked about it a few times on here, but if you aren't on Twitter AND using it as a professional development tool, you should be. Twitter chats can be intimidating, but once you get the hang of chatting, you will be connected to SO many new and inspiring colleagues.
Below I have outlined HOW to participate in a Twitter chat:

How to “Chat” on Twitter

In order to find a Twitter chat, first you must know its hashtag. This hashtag must then be used to participate in the chat. It must be included in each tweet you send to the chat. For our purposes, I am writing the example using #HFBTLAP - which is the hashtag for my school's Teach Like a Pirate Book Study.

Twitter chats usually follow a simple question and answer format. There is a moderator (in this case, @mspatricianhfb, and that person is in charge of asking the questions. You may then respond to each question asked. Here is an example:

@mspatricianhfb: Q1: What scares you most about using Twitter for a book study? #HFBTLAP

@HFBAllstars: A1: That @mspatricianhfb will make fun of me if I mess up. #HFBTLAP

@HFBTeacher: A1: I am scared that I won’t be able to keep up! #HFBTLAP

Those users participating can now respond to other answers using the reply button if they would like to continue interacting with this question. Example:

@HFBAllStars: @HFBTeacher Don’t worry, we’re all new to this! Let’s learn together! #HFBTLAP

@HFBTeacher: @HFBAllstars Thanks for the encouragement! #HFBTLAP

This process continues until the chat is over. Most chats occur during a set period of time- usually 1 hour. You can participate fully, lurk and just read other responses, or just chime in when you have something to add.

I have given several professional development sessions on using Twitter for communicating with parents/other teachers, and have just started this Twitter book study. If you have not yet picked up Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess, you DEFINITELY should! Feel free to drop in on our #HFBTLAP chats on Monday nights from 8-9 PM starting on President's Day- February 16th!

Later this week I will be posting my favorite chats to participate in during the week, but in the meantime, please look at @cybraryman's list of Education Twitter chats here: Twitter Education Chat List.

Happy tweeting!
~Ms. Patrician


  1. Thanks for sharing this! I am so bad with Twitter. I try to do what I can, and I have participated in a few twitter chats (and loved them), but I just have not been able to be consistent about using it. I think part of the problem is that I am on EST, and I am a morning person, so many of the twitter chats are too late at night for me! Do you know if there are any twitter chats that start earlier? Most of the music ed ones I know seem to start at 8 or 9pm my time... Thanks :) #fermatafridays

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