Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why I blog and tweet

Over the last 4 months, I have tweeted 1500 times and written 90 blogs.  The total of this text would be over 100 pages.  Lately, I have been asked, “Why do you do it?”, with which I responded with, “Why don’t you?”.  I will now share my story.
First, I feel that I have done more PD in the last 4 months than I ever have.  This is not a criticism of conferences I have attended or speeches I have heard, but actually a compliment of the power of twitter and sharing my knowledge through this blog.   Here are some stories:
I would not feel right if I did not say a very huge thank you to Joe Bower (@joebower) as he was the inspiration that started my transformation.  Joe, an amazing teacher here in Red Deer, has shown me the power of sharing.  His blog “for the love of learning” is where I started reading articles about education reform.  He has truly been my “connector”, and I feel as our friendship has grown deeply.
Next, I have helped Paige McClement (@pjenn86), a teacher in Cochrane, in her teachings of mathematics.  Even though she is a flames fan, I looked past her shortcomings, and still responded to her tweet asking for help.  When I shared a perspective with her, she responded with an alternate perspective on a topic I had blogged about.  I was truly sharing with another teacher whom I have never met face to face.
This brings me to Chris Wejr (@MrWejr), an elementary school principal in British Columbia, who has given me more support than I can ever say thanks for.  During a time of frustration, Chris and I had a conversation, through Twitter, where Chris gave me needed guidance and encouragement to keep “trucking”.  If it wasn’t for his advice, this blog may have been closed down months ago, and I would not be writing this today; Thanks Chris!
As the MCATA (Math council of the Alberta teachers association) co-conference director, I was looking for two keynotes for our upcoming math conference in Edmonton.  While searching I had met Dan Meyer (@ddmeyer) and David Coffey (@delta_dc).  After conversing with them, I have booked them both as our keynotes for the conference.  I cannot express the anticipation and excitement I have to meet with these two amazing educators face to face.  Little do they know, but I might be asking for autographs!

Lastly, my blog on the "Sound of Music" day,  was read to the students of the play by the director.  I was informed that the majority of students started crying with "happy tears".  One comment from a student, to the director, was "I can't believe we have inspired a teacher at our school!".  Also, three other teachers have approached me saying they are also going to try this "Sound of Music" day.
The list could go on and on as I could probably list hundreds of amazing educators I have met online but never face to face.  I would, however, be lying if I said it has all been green grass.  My blogs and tweets have caused multiple people question my intentions, disagree with my statements, ask for clarification on a topic, and even dispute research.  But….I don’t see these as negative occurrences. 
Debate, discussion, argument, and dispute, when done respectfully, should NEVER be discouraged.  Only when these tasks are promoted, can positive improvement occur.  I encourage people to disagree with me, as it is a powerful strategy to see an idea from another perspective. 
Last, if you are reading this and do not tweet or blog I will now ask you a question: “Why don’t you?”


  1. I couldn't agree more, Dave. This mimics my journey and I would guess hundreds of other educators. Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. Thank you. This is why I tweet to be inspired by great and caring teachers instead of people ccounting the minutes until they can go home.

    As soon as I create my blog - I hope you comment!


  3. I do tweet, and will do blogging as soon as I learn how. :-). Anyway, themes like your "Sound of Music" day are great ways to develop projects that allow for real learning in a variety of subject areas. And then take it into the community in any way you can.

    As we begin to realize that "teaching to the test" is about winning in an artificial way, we will return to real teaching which is about real learning students can use in their future.

    So teachers, take back your profession! Bring back real teaching and real learning. And let the test scores fall where they may.

    Cap Lee

  4. These comments are futher illustration of the power of "connectiveness". The more we all share, the more we all learn!

  5. Dave,

    Great post, you sure have done a lot in a short period of time. I know you are going to be a big connection for me as I return to the classroom and hopefully get to teach Math again!

    You are a great example to all educators about how quickly you can connect and learn along with other educators all over the globe.


  6. Dave,

    As one who has challenged your opinions/thoughts at times on Twitter. Let me say here how much I also appreciate your willingness to share your ideas and you have inspired me. My challenges have been to partly to push my own thinking. I read your blog regularly and will continue to do so. I hope my blog becomes as foundational to my practice as yours seems to have.


  7. Wow!!! I can truly say that I have be shown even more support from all of you! Thank you so much!

    Blair, can you send me a link to your blog. Will for sure keep up to date with it!

    Cap Lee, also provide me with the link when it is up and running!

    Brad, I will for sure! Give me the link when you can.

  8. Another great post! I have to admit that I encourage you for selfish reasons:
    1. You challenge my thinking
    2. You provide examples of how using intrinsic motivation and assessment for learning benefit kids.
    3. You continue this important conversation.

    So, selfishly, I am so happy that you continue to blog because you are an important part of my PLN! I look forward to more conversations!

  9. Thank you for speaking up in a time when many people won't say a word.