I reluctantly joined Twitter in April of 2015. Before that, the only social media I was into was Facebook. I'm of the generation that got Facebook in college. I went to a small school and we waited and waited for our school to be added after listening to our friends at bigger universities talk about how cool it was. Was it actually cool back then? Probably not. Does saying cool this many times make me seem cool?
Anyway, I joined Twitter and Instagram around the same time. Everyone was doing it and I basically caved to peer pressure. Just say no, guys. I didn't post anything, but decided to passively follow my friends, a few celebrities, and some news organizations. "I only use Twitter to keep up with the news," I would say, as if it made me sound sophisticated.
Then, about a year ago, a few teachers in my district talked about the number of educators and authors that actively used Twitter as a way to share resources, inspire each other, and connect. Some were only using it to connect with their own classroom families, others were using it to connect in a broader sense.
So, I searched for a few of my favorite authors, and followed a few education and technology pages I heard about. Again, I followed passively. I still didn't post much, but I did use it frequently to get inspiration for my classroom, hear about upcoming books, and learn about new apps and technology.
Then I went to Nerd Camp MI. I first heard about Nerd Camp on Twitter and everyone made it sound pretty amazing. I signed up, went, and it blew my mind. Read my last post for more about that! I realized just how extensive Teacher Twitter really is. I started following everyone and everyone they were talking about. Since then, I have started to tweet more of my own posts, retweet, and respond to posts I like. I have made a few solid connections and was able to connect with those people again this year at Nerd Camp. I've connected with a few authors who I'm excited to continue to connect with over the course of the school year.
By no means have I mastered all that Twitter can offer. I'm happy that I've made some connections, gained inspiration, and received fresh ideas. It's a giant community of many like-minded educators ready to take on the world!
Nerd Camp MI was two weeks ago, and processing what I've learned has been a process. This was my second time at Nerd Camp MI, and it did not disappoint. Last year, I came across Nerd Camp after becoming more involved on Twitter.
Side note: I resisted Twitter for a long time because I was all like, "Social media is taking over the world!" I joined on the suggestion of a friend because there was apparently a lot of teaching resources. She was more than right. Okay, this side note is now a side paragraph. I guess a new post on the influence of Twitter is in the near future.
ANYWAY...I went to Nerd Camp last year by myself on a whim. It looked promising and I could get credits for free. What's not to love? Oh my gosh, it was so much more than just getting in a few free SCECHs. It felt like I had found my people. Teachers, librarians, authors, and book nerds of all kinds. Every session I went to (and there are approximately 1 million to choose from) was the best one. I was convinced. And I'm sure everyone else felt the same way. I met authors I admired, authors I never heard of, and teachers who want only the best experiences for their students and any kid they may run into. I walked away hooked. I felt lucky that I only had about an hour drive to this literacy extravaganza.
Fast forward to this year when registration was announced. I signed up that day and it was a good thing I did, because tickets went fast. I couldn't wait until July and I convinced a co-worker to come along for the ride.
Again, I experienced only the best sessions. I choose the best ones. It's because every session is one of the best. I listened to expert panels on graphic novels and revision. I heard Donalyn Miller, Pernille Ripp, Chad C. Everett, Sara K. Ahmed, and Meg Medina give passionate nerd talks. I spoke with Jacqueline Davies about the power of service learning in the classroom. I learned of First Book, a phenomenal organization whose mission it is to get high quality books into the hands of kids. I learned how to connect with authors like Josh Funk and Jarrett Lerner through Skype and FlipGrid. I learned how to draw sneaky eyebrows from Laurie Keller. The list goes on and on.
Come to Nerd Camp. Then spread that nerdiness in whatever you do. Get passionate about books, or writing, or teaching, or sneaky eyebrows. Just get out there and share it.
Teacher, reader, tea drinker, and dog mom.