Think Different is my favourite Apple campaign to date. It encapsulates the whole Apple as an innovator ethos and is still a relevant message for educators today.
During my workshops the idea of how to ‘Think Different!’, or where inspiration and new ideas can be found comes up all the time. In the day to day running of a school this can be difficult; creative batteries need re-charging and finding time to source new ideas and techniques and develop new ideas can be a challenge.
The solution is to surround yourself with dynamic and inspiring company, generally from outside your school, via Twitter. Many people using social media question the validity of Twitter, preferring Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat as their social media tools. However, Twitter is perfect for educators; short and to the point, matter of fact and high impact.
‘I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR TWITTER’. Yes, you do. Cut out something else in your day that doesn’t provide you with relevant information and stimuli. Evaluate what you are currently making time for and decide where you are going to make time for this.
Set aside 5-10 minutes, two or three times a day, during morning coffee, lunch-time, end of the school day etc. and make sure it is something you can stick to. This is your daily Continuing Professional Development plan. If you value your development time, find time for it. Rant over.
Follow educators who encourage you to ‘Think Different!’. I read the tweets of the following regularly, because of the range of content and ideas they cover:
Renaldo Lawrence: @lawrencerenaldo
Mark Anderson: @ICTevangelist
Graham Brown-Martin: @grahambm
Kurt Klynen: @meesterkurt
Paul Hamilton: @paulhamilton8
Dan Edwards: @syded06
For all things Google : Alice Keeler @alicekeeler
Add a few product specific Twitter accounts also. The following are essential developers in my opinion.
Obviously tailor this depending on your areas of interest. This is how to keep up to date on developments, and invariably new ideas as they are developed. As other ‘Tweeters’ occur on your timeline follow them and of course, re-tweet anything that you feel should be shared. People will start to follow you.
The next phase requires more time. Don’t just read the tweets! Click on links, images, videos etc and follow content through to explore new ideas and areas that you can then incorporate into your lessons.
As time goes on, follow ideas and innovations that are not within your current teaching remit. I don’t use Edmodo but I read their tweets and the tweets of their users. They employ a very different workflow to Showbie. The point is if I don’t read something that is different, or works in a different way, how can I expect to Think Different?