Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Professional Development Playground

Recently being on Twitter, I reflected on how much fun I have reading and learning...I now know that Twitter is my professional development playground.  I am making it work for me!

It all began with me just watching others choose their rides-seeing how they began to build their playgrounds...a merry-go-round here, a slide there, adventure, adventure everywhere!  Playgrounds are built for different reasons-some are wooden, some are more metal and plastic-meeting the needs of the players involved.  Some have benches, some have pavilions, and some have bike-paths.  Some have restrooms, some have water fountains, some have large grassy areas, some have stones-but all have places where you choose to play--going to the equipment that is going to tickle your fancy most.

This is how I see twitter-now that I've been on it for almost (UPDATE 2015)-3 years!  I have built this professional development playground from the bottom up!  I have chosen who or what to follow to tickle my professional development fancy!  I can choose the simple rides and climbs (just the tweets) or more complicated climbers and jumpers that are more involved and require more deliberate footing (the links to more within the tweets). 
photo credit: Profound">">Profound Whatever

I can choose who comes to the playground with me by including them in my tweets with "@" and their twitter handles!  I have learned so much by playing and reading what my friends share at the playground!  There is such great connecting going on with my friends there all the time.

I decide which playground toy we all meet at now by listing a "#" in front of it...then we all know where to go.  Friends that meet up and tweet up at the same piece of equipment together!  All the while we are there, learning from each other.

The size of my playground has grown by learning from the other kids there too!  I have watched how they built their playgrounds, seeing which friends they invite there as well as having more friends join me on my playground too!  So much fun to be had learning and growing professionally all the time!

I have also learned that sometimes, I just want a single friend to play with me...I can "dm" them and we can tweet up together through specific messages that only we know.  And sometimes, friends come to the playground who really aren't friends they are "spammers" and you have to block them from returning!

I hope more and more people catch on to building their p.d. playgrounds on's such a great place to be-just don't go to the playground too often-or your work will never get done!

Come to the #slice2013 climber today!  Have fun!


  1. I love this analogy and totally agree. As I was reflecting on my professional growth this year for my district Annual Professional Performance Review, I WANTED to include Twitter but worried they might laugh at me! I did include my Twitter learning as it is where I get more than any place else!

  2. Great analogy, Amy! I too "play" a lot on my playground lately and learn so much from my friends who are there. What's neat about our playground is that it keeps growing bigger and taller every day. Who knew professional development could be this much fun!

  3. Interesting that you feel this way. I cannot get my brain around Twitter....I hear such great stuff, so perhaps I'll have to keep at it!

  4. I love your analogy. I keep dipping my toe into Twitter, but get overwhelmed so easily. I've got some time to "play" right now, so maybe this is my opportunity to join the fun!

  5. I am happy to know the twitter playgrounds exist and sometimes I venture there. It can get a little rambunctious for me. So more often I am walking in the forest enjoying the streams, taking in nature and letting quiet conversation restore me. Great post.

  6. I like the analogy. We are encouraged to use Twitter but I don't understand how it works. 140 characters. How do you learn from 140 characters? What if you don't wan't someone to follow you (like your boss or bosses boss)? Do you just start building "swings and slides" how do you know what and who to follow. My name is Peg and I may be a techno-phobe. ;-)

    1. Peg,
      If I had my boss or boss's boss following me, I know I have nothing to lose. My twitter"playground" is strictly professional. I don't follow junk, tabloid stuff! If a link or connection is not going to grow me professionally, I am choosing not to follow it. Some friends have multiple accounts...personal and professional...I do sometimes slip in a funny tweet about a silly moment here or there...but mostly professional. It's really helping me build global connections and resources to innovative thinking!

  7. "I decide which playground toy we all meet at now by listing a "#" in front of it...then we all know where to go. Friends that meet up and tweet up at the same piece of equipment together! All the while we are there, learning from each other."

    I never thought about it like this. Such a smart analogy!

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