Having been #isteless this year, I was able to attend virtually on Twitter. Since ISTE I have noticed a few posts cropping up that hint at negative interactions. Most of the posts I've read regarding ISTE interactions have one thing in common: our basic human need to belong.
Many attending ISTE are tweeters. There are a few things I have noticed about us tweducators:
1) We are on Twitter to learn and grow as professionals.
2) We want to do what we can to meet the needs of our students.
3) Twitter is the community that many of us lack in our schools and/or district.
Because of these things we need to think deeply about what it is our fellow tweducators are saying.
When @flourishingkids says that her feelings were hurt by another tweducator at ISTE, I hear her saying, "Value me." When @Angela_Watson tells us to 'stop the tech snobbery' I hear her loudly saying, "Every contribution is significant." And @kylepace tweet that everyone's contribution matters ... speaks for itself.
What I think is this: we all just want to feel as if we belong and are significant within that group. Even on Twitter. How do you react when you see that you have been retweeted, direct messaged, or replied to? My hunch is that you feel validated. Imagine how It would feel to have that torn down in some way whether on Twitter or at a conference.
It may be frustrating to come to the conclusion that yes we are still in the razzle-dazzle stage of integrating technology. It may be disheartening to realize that the people you follow or converse with online are unkind. And you may even feel as if you'll never be considered a Twitter superstar or be acknowledged by one.
Isn't it more important that you've decided to make changes to impact student learning? The beauty of social media is that you can choose who is in your circle. And no...that is not cliquey...that is you deciding how to enrich your professional life. But whatever your reason for joining Twitter remember this: we are all people that deserve to be treated with kindness and respect, regardless of where we may be in our transformational journey.
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