I had finished watching the movie starring Cuba Gooding, "Life of a King", a very uplifting and moving film centered around the game of chess. The over all theme was, “What is your endgame?” If you ever get a chance to see this movie don't pass it up (you will need at least 3 tissues). While going through some of my Face Book posts and replies, I read a statement from one of the many outstanding students in my past. I tweeted out to the community about a course I was taking to benefit the students within my sphere of influence at present and this one reply eluded to him not reaping the benefits of my present day endeavors. I responded back saying ..."As I was reading your reply to my tweet from this morning. I could not help but feel your frustration to your question, 'What would have been if...?' "
One of the many things I am learning about life is that in relationship to others I need to keep the endgame in mind at all times, the past needs to stay in the past. That means some steps are on firm solid ground while other steps are treacherous, for every yes that I say means, I must say no somewhere else, all this while keeping the end game in mind. Our lives are summed up by that little dash/line between our date of arrival and our date of departure from this world. What story will it tell?
King Solomon (wisest/richest man that has ever lived or will ever live) upon his death left a nation bankrupted because he lost the focus and the purpose of his life. But he was wise enough to realize this fact at the end of his life, "The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgement, with every secret thing, whether good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14).
So what is your endgame?
So what is my endgame? "He learned how to serve others before serving himself."
Until the next time,
Why did it take me so long to understand the most powerful learning tool, Twitter? After all, I have been sprinkling my love and excitement for teaching, technology, and learning, with a smile for as long as I can remember. What I need to remember is, there was nothing wrong with what I was doing. What I see now is, I was only sharing with the people that see me face to face or get my emails. They are the people I trust and work with. I know that I have only debated and had conversations with groups of educators that will still like me tomorrow, if I don't agree with them.
I feel that it is important to let you know that I have had a Twitter account since 2011. I would only use Twitter when I attended a conference, like TCEA to tweet what I was learning. I didn't add to my PLN by collecting people to follow. When I would return home, I felt like I was tweeting myself and no one could possibly be reading what I was tweeting. Do teachers tweet in El Paso?
I have been a faithful Twitter user for 4 months now. Faithful, meaning that I am using it to learn, share, and make connections now. I no longer feel like I'm tweeting myself. How did this happen?
Twitter tips from a Newbie
1. Ask for Twitter Handles- During the last conference I attended, PodStock 2013, I didn't want to lose the connections I made. Every time I had a conversation with someone, I asked for their twitter handle. They usually asked for mine back and I gained a few new followers. I wasn't tweeting myself anymore.
2. Build Relationships- This has been the most difficult for me. Try to interact, answer questions that you know the answer to, send a compliment if you honestly notice they are sharing things that are valuable to you, retweet any message that you want others who are following you to read.
3. Discover hashtags #- I didn't worry about hashtags too much when I began tweeting. I have since learned that it makes it easier to search and following topics. As I read other tweets, I am paying attention to what hashtags they are using. As I tweet, I am trying to add hashtags to share with others who are interested in that topic.
4. Explore- Use the search feature in Twitter. Search for people, topics, keywords, places, book titles, or anything you feel like learning or reading about. After searching names of people I work under, I have discovered that I am not the only person that didn't get twitter. There are a lot of people in education, making huge decisions, that do not have an account. We all have to start somewhere, right?
5. Learn- Take learning into your own hands. Every story and how is different. For me, I saw a conversation someone was having with @techninjatodd. I think I started following him because I liked his twitter handle. From him, I learned about the @eduallstarsHQ podcast. As I listen to the podcast, I started following all of the guests. Then I found that other educators I made connections with at other conferences knew @techninjatodd via twitter. I could keep going. Since then I have been on a learning overload. Learning through twitter because I want to, is very different than someone telling me I have to read a book and discuss it at work. I am learning what I want to learn, when I want to learn it. How powerful is that?
I feel like I can sprinkle my excitement for education, learning and technology with people I know now. I don't really know them, but I'll be working on the relationships. Since twitter only allows for 140 characters, I know blogging is going to have to be another way I share.
Here's to my rebirth of learning and sharing. I will be sharing Twitter with a campus on Tuesday. I'll be happy to share your twitter advice. I don't it to take them 2 years to get it.