Have you ever had an idea about something but you were not sure how you could make it work? Maybe you wanted to plan a family vacation and you have an idea in your head about how you want it to work but you are not quite sure how. Do you stay in a hotel or a test? Do you go to an amusement park or a national park? Do you drive or fly? Take a cruise or stay at in a motorhome? You have many ideas and many ways to make them work - so how to you know you are doing the right thing?
Well this happened to me this week. I decided I wanted to create a Twitter account for my chemistry classes. My idea was to tweet out assignments, questions, ideas, links to cool things and follow some scientists and hopefully tweet them! But I was not sure how to make it work - just like the trip you were planning.
So what did I do? Well, I started by creating a Twitter account for my class - @Chem4Grizzlies. I searched for a few chemists to follow and added some chemistry teachers - but then I was stuck. My next move was to tweet out that I set up the account for my class and asked for some people to follow it...and they did! Now I had an account, was following some teachers and scientists - but didn't know what to do next. So you have a destination, but you don't know what to do while you are there!
It didn't take long before a few chemistry teachers that I follow tweeted me back and said they had similar ideas. Before long there were two other science teachers (@dragan39 and @VirtualGardner) interested in doing the same thing and two more (@2footgiraffe and @MR_ABUD) that were already doing it! Before long we had planned a Google Hangout (GHO) to discuss our ideas. Now you are getting together with friends that have been to where you are planning to go!
+Adam Taylor told us how he used a classroom account and had set up a monthly chat with scientists and his students (#scistuchat). He also gave us a list of scientists to follow and several ideas on how to use Twitter in the classroom. There were other ideas shared - here is a list of our notes. At this point in your trip planning you have a destination, a place to stay and an itinerary.
This is just another example of how having a Twitter PLN is helpful. I had an idea, tweeted it out and within a week I was collaborating with three other teachers who were taking time out of their summer to make their classroom a better place for their students. There is a hashtag out there that explains this collaboration - #bettertogether.