Monday, October 12, 2015

Skip the "Say Hello" Tweet

Over the years I’ve sat in many presentations about the benefits of being a connected educator. Many of those presentations focus on connecting through Twitter. The standard demonstration of “the power of Twitter” is for the presenter to Tweet something like “please say hello to teachers learning about Twitter at #awesomeedtechconf.” I’ve done that myself. But lately I’ve been thinking that sending out the “say hello” Tweet really isn’t all that helpful to people attending the presentation. The presenter in this situation has an advantage that the attendees do not have, a network and a following.

When stand in front of a room and compose a demonstration Tweet of “say hello to the teachers at #aweseomedtechconf” I’m showing off what my network can do.What I taken to doing instead of showing off what my network can do, is demonstrate how to start building a new network of connected educators. I start a new account and walk folks through the process of finding other educators on social media, saying hello, and interacting in mutually beneficial ways. (By the way, this why I and my dog now have more Twitter accounts than I can keep track of). At the end I’ll show what my current network can do, but I remind folks that I’ve been building my social media connections for eight years, not eight minutes.

The next time you’re given the privilege of showing other educators the benefits of being connected online, consider skipping the “say hello” Tweet until the very end.