Northwest ISD is taking staff development to a whole new level. Every Tuesday at 8:30 p.m., district teachers, library/media specialists, administrators and instructional technology staff are invited to log in to Twitter and use the hashtag #NISDNOV8 for 30-minute, instructional discussions ranging in topic from technology integration and popular applications to assessing what is working in the classroom and what makes a good student project.
“I like to think of this as personalized staff development,” said Director of Instructional Technology Karla Burkholder. “It’s collaboration at your fingertips. Educators are able to get immediate feedback from peers and learn new things in a very powerful setting.”
The chat began Jan. 8 – with 23 participants and almost 200 tweets – and will continue weekly through the remainder of the school year. Conversations are stored and saved in an online application called Storify, which is linked to the instructional technology resources page.
Participants receive a sign for their classroom or office which reads, ‘I’m an #nisdNOV8or.” (For non-techies, that reads ‘I’m an NISD Innovator.’)
“The opportunities are endless,” Burkholder said. “We are looking at continuing the Twitter chats through the summer because this type of professional development can be held anywhere thanks to today’s technology.”