In 2013 I had a Technology Tuesday session to get teachers in my district to join Twitter. This wasn't the first session I had done on Twitter. People would join. They would Tweet during the session and then they wouldn't Tweet again. The number one comment I received from new Tweeters was, "I just don't know what to Tweet about."
I came up with #12daystwitter to give my teachers something to Tweet about. Every day for 12 days in December I would provide my teachers with a Tweeting "prompt." This gave them a topic to Tweet about. Every morning I emailed the prompt and posted the prompt to Twitter. I created a Smore advertising all 12 days so they could think ahead. I created a LiveBinder to collect all of the great things they were sharing. If the prompt was to Tweet a favorite website to use with students, I added the sites to the LiveBinder. For other prompts like the best advice you have for a new teacher, I created a Storify for the day and embedded it in the LiveBinder.
I created this challenge for the teachers in my district. But a strange thing happened. Teachers who were not part of my district started to participate in the challenge. Wow! I really had no idea my little Twitter challenge would extend beyond my school district.
Fast forward one year to November 2014. A group of tech integration specialist type people were together at an #edcamp like event and we started talking about how we could get more of our teachers on Twitter. I told them about my #12daystwitter challenge. They loved the idea and so we decided to update my #12daystwitter challenge and take it to all of our districts. Another LiveBinder was created to advertise the event. Now this challenge was in multiple districts throughout the state of Nebraska. And because the people promoting #12daystwitter had amazing PLNs already established, #12daystwitter wasn't just a Nebraska thing, we had people from all over the United States participating. The #12daystwitter LiveBinder ended up on the LiveBinders featured binders page and we had even more people join us. The 2014 #12daystwitter LiveBinder has over 11,000 views.
In 2015, #12daystwitter was back. And this time it became global as we had people from all over the world participating. The 2015 #12daystwitter LiveBinder also ended up on the featured binder page and as a result has over 14,000 views.
It is 2016 and yesterday our tech integration specialist group met and again updated the #12daystwitter challenge. So starting on December 1, the fourth edition of #12daystwitter will begin.
As I look back, I am amazed at how my one little idea has morphed into something global. This wouldn't have been possible without my PLN. I had an idea, they took it and expanded on it and shared it with the teachers in their districts and the people in their PLNs. This one activity that I created with the intent to get my teachers Tweeting has now become a global event. Crazy!
If you are not a connected educator, if you are not active on Twitter, this is your chance! Every year we have done this I have added amazing educators to my PLN. I am definitely better because of it.
Please take our #12daystwitter challenge and share it with your PLN. The more the merrier! Join us and meet some new people and grow your PLN. We are all better together!
And to the amazing educators who have helped spread my little idea, thank you!