Thursday, October 18, 2012
Influence of #ncadmin
It started with a list on Twitter.
I thought it would be beneficial to create a Twitter list of School Administrators to help connect school leaders across the state of North Carolina. Therefore, I created the list @CSmithGoBlue/NCADMIN. I began actively seeking out administrators in the Tar Heel state by following other school administrators and requesting others to be sent my way. More importantly, my Professional Learning Network (PLN) became expanding with other leaders in the state.
Then came the hashtag.
As a result, I began using the hashtag #ncadmin in my tweets that were related to administration, school leadership, and issues related to North Carolina. Other members of the list began using #ncadmin, as well. Consequently, the frequency of tweets including #ncadmin increased, as did the "NCADMIN" list.
Derek McCoy, a well-respected Middle School Principal and Twitter "stud", contacted me and asked if I had ever considered organizing a "Twitter chat" with #ncadmin. I had participated in other Twitter chats, such as #atplc and #satchat, but never as a facilitator. His enthusiasm was contagious, and we began collaborating and planning how to promote #ncadmin. The primary focus of our collaboration was to help connect educators across North Carolina.
It's working. North Carolina administrators are becoming more connected through Twitter, and I would like to think #ncadmin is providing a forum for this to occur.
Our initial chat was aligned with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's declaration of August as "Connected Educator's" Month. Through the first six chats, 43 different people have actively participated (listed here). The participants are not limited only to school administrators. In fact, the diversity of participants includes:
Principal, Assistant Principal, Associate Superintendent, Teacher, Student-Teacher, Future-teacher (college student), Director of Teacher Ed @ University level, Instructional Technologist, Instructional Coach, School Psychologist, and even a House of Representative!
Our participants now go beyond our state of North Carolina, as some participants call Nebraska, New Jersey, and Virginia home (to name a few).
All the above participants have engaged in personalized professional growth and collaboration over the following topics: Innovative PD Strategies, How to be a Common Core Instructional Leader, Leadership Team Strategies, New Teacher Support, and most recently, Strategies to Reduce Bullying. Some upcoming #ncadmin chat topics include our evaluation system and continued Common Core discussions.
The diverse range of topics have provided forums for suggestions, ideas, successes, and growth opportunities for all participants. Personally, there is no doubt that I am a better school leader as a result of these #ncadmin chats.
The state-wide connection has not been limited to individuals; the NCADMIN site provides an opportunity for everyone to connect with their respective school district through "Connect with NC Districts" page. Hopefully people have become better connected through these Twitter accounts.
The #ncadmin connection will (hopefully) have more opportunities to influence educators. Derek and I have submitted a proposal to present at an upcoming conference (Note: This would be the first time we actually speak face to face-which further demonstrates the power of being connected). I have been asked to participate in another conference presentation to discuss "How and why educators use twitter".
It all started with a list on Twitter.
My PLN has clearly grown and is constantly becoming stronger. But the growth continues from strengthening my PLN and we hope #ncadmin continues to influence educators across North Carolina.
Check out the NCADMIN Site here: www.ncadmin.blogspot.com
Thanks for reading and follow me @CSmithGoBlue.
The opinions shared in this blog belong to Craig Smith and do not represent the school or district in which he works.