My friend, Rebecca, asked me today about how much professional reading I do each week. I started thinking about it in terms of books. During a good work week, I will finish at least one YA book and one grown-up book. This week it was the sequel to Warrior Heir, Wizard Heir, and the latest Stephanie Plum novel. My husband keeps me stocked with grown up books from the library and I have a stack of ya on my shelf. Those are my quick-reads. I would say that YA books are definitely for work, but I then try to read or reread one of my professional books at least once a month. Currently I am reading Jensen's Teaching With Poverty in Mind. Rebecca reminded me that I do much more professional reading each week, just not from books and she is right, I love my professional learning network (PLN) on Twitter.
I stepped over to the dark side last spring break and got an i-phone. My razor bit the dust. I hadn't tasted the apple, but understand temptation now. My husband encouraged me to get the phone and from there a whole new world opened. I learned how to text, but most important to me as learner, I finally had easy access to Twitter. I had been introduced to Twitter in 2008, but had rarely posted. Before Apple (BA), Twitter chats using Hootsuite were unwieldy. Now with my app, I can quickly run through the day's feed and send emails to myself about the information that I would like to follow-up. I have a whole list of items to dig into.
What I enjoy most about tweeting professionally is that I can follow my rock stars- Carol Jago, Kelly Gallagher, Penny Kittle, and Jeff Anderson. Sure, I have their books, but their tweets feed my daily teaching life. Their wisdom seems to come at the just right time for me. It also lets me follow educational politics, Susan Ohanian and Diane Ravitch being among my most favorite. And most recently, I have been going to Harvard Graduate School of Education at least through my feed.
I even had a brief dalliance with Daniel Tosh. That only lasted for about 24 hours. I found that the most interesting tweets come from my colleagues, not from celebrities. Chats are a powerful way to rub elbows with professional all across the world. On Monday nights, I can participate\lurk in the Eng Chat or if I miss it review their archives. Another friend, Kellee, hosts a reading workshop chat once a month. If you search, you can find many active chats and develop your PLN.
I guess the answer is yes, I do read professionally every day and technology, especially Twitter has allowed me to stay connected and grow.