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Professional development Twitter chats a success among staff




Teachers at Orland School District 135 are getting creative with their professional development by using Twitter to share ideas with colleagues from the comfort of their own home.  The first of these sessions was held on December 14th, 2016 at 8 PM.  The topic of the first session was classroom innovation.  Participants were asked about their own innovative instructional practices, how to empower students, and how to foster risk-taking in the classroom.  The first Twitter chat saw 53 participants, 261 tweets, 40 re-tweets, and participants from every school in the District!


Because of the success of the first chat, instructional technology coaches Kristin Beeler Lindsay Zilly planned a second for January 11, 2017.  This was a wonderful way for teachers and administrators to reconnect after winter break.  Beginning again at 8 PM, participants enjoyed “PD in their PJs”.  This chat discussed flexible learning spaces, which involves a variety of seating options, and the opportunity for students to move about the classroom throughout the school day.  Beeler said of this month’s chat, “We are thrilled about the momentum this Twitter chat is seeing within D135 and throughout the Twitter world.”  In January, 85 participants tweeted nearly 500 times using the hashtag #135edchat.  Not only was there a large turnout from D135, but there were also 32 participants from all over the world who joined in on the discussion.


Because of the success of these professional development Twitter chats, Beeler and Zilly are planning to host one per month throughout the school year!  They will be held on the second Wednesday of each month at 8 PM.  Even if you don’t have Twitter, you can follow along here: