Virginia Society for Technology in Education

Board Blog

I Tweet, Therefore I Am

Posted by [email protected] on 01/30 at 05:51 PM

I tweet. Yes I’ll admit it. And now I’m going to blog about it (please don’t tell anyone).  I wasn’t always like this.  In fact, 31 days ago I had never gone beyond logging into two Twitter accounts I set up over a year ago.  I had good intentions. I made my 2012 New Year’s resolution to become part of the Twitterverse.  I was systematic in my approach, creating a Hootsuite account which was going to make it easy to manage all of my social networks and meeting with Chris Bugaj a prolific blogger and tweeter (@attipscast) to outline strategies and best practices.  I was prepared to start my year off strong. 

As with my other resolution to regularly visit the gym, appearances tell all.  Both resolutions went where all failed resolutions go, along with forgotten promises.  I still posted personal messages to Facebook but kept my professional posts to a private group with my TRTs.  I guess I just wasn’t ready.  Trust me I felt bad about it.  I’m a technology leader in my district, serve as an officer in a state technology organization, have a PhD, and am one of the first to hold the CETL certification offered by CoSN, yet I failed at tweeting and the world of social networking.  Don’t even get me started about blogging and pinterest.

Fast forward to December 2012 and the VSTE annual conference; I wanted badly to feel like I was actively contributing to the discussions about technology going on in the cloud.  That guilt was weighing heavily on me, so I put Twitter and a more professional approach to social networking back on my resolution list for 2013.  I posted it publicly, thinking that once it is out there I would have to live up to that expectation.  Others (@timmmmyboy) had commented about how motivating it can be when they were supported publicly.  I thank you @haguepa, @MikeHenrickson, and @adinapopa for prompting my re-engagement with this media.

I revisited and revised my structured approach; the science teacher in me likes lists.  I planned themes for each month.  January was Jumpstarting gaming, February is Flipping the classroom, March is Making Spaces, April is Assessments and I will wait for the themes for the remaining months to reveal themselves.  Did you notice my pattern? 

The process was easy; I sat at my desk and in 1-2 hours had scheduled a month’s worth of tweets, Facebook posts, and LinkedIn posts in Hootsuite.  I was quite proud of myself.  People would see regular posts from me and they would have no idea that I had scheduled them days or weeks in advance.  I told myself that one post a day would be a nice professional presence.  There were some bumps along the road.  My first few tweets left off the URL because I had exceeded the 140 character limit and it took a little more thought to decide what hashtags I would use.  After a week I felt that I had mastered the art of social networking.  Then some things happened.  @Hendron and @ADrobnis your ruined everything.  They re-tweeted and commented on what I had posted, and then people started to follow me!  What had started out as an act to “share” professional resources suddenly became a conversation, albeit a brief one.

I get it now.  It isn’t just about sharing the resources.  It is about sharing in the conversation.  One post a day doesn’t begin to cover it.  If I can do it, trust me anyone can do it.

My advice to you:  Instead of filling up your colleagues’ email inboxes with resource after resource that are automatically sent to the Trash, contribute to the amazing conversations that are going on out there that don’t require a paragraph to hold value.  I highly recommend using the hashtags #edchat and #vste and following some of the other VSTE board and organization members.


You can find me at @bgruber10 and @lctechresource.  If you still don’t Tweet, I’m also on Facebook at LCPS Technology Resource Services and VSTE’s facebook page is  Perhaps next I’ll comment on my intense dislike of blogs and how useless it is to write about my experiences.

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