Convincing Joe Public that Twitter is more than a frivolous tool for keeping abreast of the daily routine of your favourite celebrity can be a challenge, but it is a challenge worth taking as the rewards can be transformational for your continuing professional development and classroom practice.
Some language teachers have been using Twitter since 2007, collaborating with like-minded colleagues from all over the world, forging powerful cross-curricular links and being regularly engaged and supported by the inspirational people they are following. Many have followed suit, developing their own personal learning networks along the way and more are signing up all the time to find out what all the fuss is about.
To help colleagues interested in joining the Twitterverse, I have used the free service TweepML to create a list of MFL professionals who can be easily followed by ticking a box next to their profile picture. Take a moment to peruse the list. I'm sure you'll see many familiar faces if you are already a fan of online communities although you'll also see lots of new people too!
The "MFL Twitterati" as they are commonly known by the language teachers who interact with Twitter on a daily basis are over one hundred strong now and growing all the time. I have also recently created another list using Twitter itself with the same usernames which allows you to get a flavour of the sorts of messages MFL colleagues are sending each other at the moment.
Please note that only unprotected tweets are being displayed. To see other messages you would first need request permission from the person you wanted to follow, have it granted and then login to your own account.
If you would like to add the widget displayed at the right of my blog, go to this link, put in joedale for Username, click find lists and select MFL Twitterers under List Name. You can then customise the Preferences, Appearance and Dimensions on the left hand side and generate the embed code you will need to put it on your blog.
If you still need persuading about the value of joining Twitter have a look at this great clip by Chris Betcher which makes the important point that you need to make sure you are following enough people to make the experience worthwhile.
I hope this post encourages you to dip your toes into the Twitterverse if you haven't done already and discover what an incredibly collaborative environment it is. It will be well worth your time and effort and you'll wonder what you ever did without it once you get going, honest ;)
Come on! Join the conversation!