Communicating and Connecting with Social Media

While I can’t remember the tweet verbatim, nor who initiated the conversation, the overall context was something like, “Hey, we both seem to be two cool guys involved in education, using social media and living in the Raleigh area, want to grab lunch sometime to connect face to face?” Now, fast forward two years to today where Bill Ferriter (@plugusin) and I have shared a few Cloos Coney Island hot dogs, an invitation from me to Bill to sit on a keynote panel at last year’s NCAIS Innovate 2010, and me an invitation from him to co-author a book with Eric Sheninger (@nmhs_principal) and himself and you have a great case for why one should use social media as part of their professional development.

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Yet, despite examples like the one above and countless others shared across the global showcasing why connecting with your peer group through the use of social media is important, there are still many educators not convinced that using social media to communicate and connect is a worthwhile endeavor. Perhaps, then, that is the reason that Solution Tree, the publisher for whom Bill Ferriter has written previously, and for whom we now are working on a manuscript, thought it important to include a book on social media for their Essentials for Principals series.

As we’ve collaborated through the writing process, via Google Docs and email, the finished draft landed far from where we intended this project would head from the onset. However, as Bill noted to me recently, “Welcome to writing---nothing ever comes out quite the way that you originally plan it.  It's a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants game” (W. Ferriter, personal communication, September 18, 2010).

Where we did land, however, was with a how-to book that will hopefully outline the why and how of using Personal Learning Networks for professional development, the use of Social Media as a means of communicating with constituents, and a resource for Principals and other academic leaders who are looking to enter into these new and wonderful social spaces to connect and communicate.

While the initial draft is nearing completion, we’re wondering… what’s the best story, connection, or resource you’ve experienced from jumping into social media spaces to broaden your Personal Learning Network or connect with your constituents?