Twitter as Professional Development

As a PhD candidate, maybe you think you’re above Twitter. Maybe you’ve only seen it used for egotistical self promotion, or worse just to share with the world what someone ate for lunch. However, I’m here to say that Twitter is actually the best way to connect quickly with teachers of like-mindedness, as well as with teachers who will boggle your mind with what they do in their classroom. Twitter is a powerful learning tool for educators.

While George Couros, author of Innovator’s Mindset, doesn’t say you HAVE to be on Twitter to be innovative, he has said, that many teachers who are innovative happen to be on Twitter. There’s just something about connecting with other educators around the world that helps us to have a more balanced and global approach to what we do in the classroom.

To encourage you to consider Twitter as a viable professional development (PD) tool, I’ve   started a tutorial series titled “Twitter for Innovative Thinkers.” Part 1 is called “Educator’s Guide to Twitter: The Profile Page.”  In this first tutorial I explain how Twitter is used by innovative people (compared to popular culture) and  I then go through the elements of a Twitter profile page to prepare YOU to set up our own account.

In Part 2 titled “Hashtags and other Twitter Terms I Don’t Know” I will share the construction of a tweet along with the importance of a hashtag.  Coming soon.

I double-dog dare you to open a Twitter account today and begin experiencing learning (as a teacher) like never before! Have Fun!

~Dr. Darci Harland

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Be the Glue: Writing Sticky Sentences

Have you ever received feedback on your academic writing that sounds like this?

This paragraph lacks cohesion.
Add more synthesis, please.
This is all summary.
Where is the analysis of these studies?
Why does this matter?

If so, its likely that you need to work on being the glue!

gluesticky_noabd4me

Hopefully you know about the MEAL plan. Walden’s Writing Center has done an outstanding job of providing a model for writing strong academic-toned paragraphs. Here is what MEAL stands for.

M = Main idea = Topic Sentence
E = Evidence = Facts from research studies
A = Analysis = You Be the Glue
L = Lead Out = Your voice summarizing

I find that once students begin to understand the importance of strong topic sentences and lead out sentences, most learn to use them consistently. However learning to do the analysis well is where most students struggle. I have started calling this “the glue” and urge writers to “Be the Glue!” I find myself asking students for more sticky sentences that will pull the citations they are using into a coherent review of the literature.

WU Writing Center stated

Analysis should function as both the “you” (your unique interpretation of evidence) and the “glue” (a clear linkage among pieces of evidence and between evidence and the topic sentence) in every paragraph.

Glue + You = Analysis

Even if you agree with my argument for the importance of having analysis in every paragraph, you probably know how difficult it is to write well. You might be asking yourself, How do I transition from the evidence to analysis? I probably can’t just say “I believe this is important because….” or “This matters because…..” So how do I do it? I’m going to break my answer to this into two parts. First, I will provide tips for how you interpret the evidence and second, tips for linking evidence together. I will conclude with tips on what to avoid when writing these sticky sentences.

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