Remy Robitaille, Digital Marketing ManagerLet’s face it, social media is the new normal and has quickly become a rich resource for educators. At New Tech Network, we understand the benefits of using social media to engage in an authentic dialogue around PBL and school transformation. Our monthly #PBLChats on Twitter serve as a unique platform that connects PBL practitioners both within and external to our network and encourages a deep conversation around PBL-related topics. Here is a helpful overview on the benefits of adding Twitter chats to your PD practice and how to participate:Why join?Connect with fellow educators across the country (and even the world). Long gone are the days of PD geographical barriers. Our #PBLChats are attended by a diverse group of educators, spread across the United States and in other countries. Twitter chats are an excellent way to connect with educators outside of your community and get insights from a diverse group of experts that span location, subject matter and grade level.Spotlight your projects, school and students. Twitter chats are a great way to get feedback on specific projects or share classroom successes. Posting photos, reflections and links to school or blog posts are an impactful way to participate in a chat and elevate the conversation with specific learnings.Troubleshoot classroom obstacles. Having trouble with something in your classroom? Get real-time feedback from practitioners and experts. Many of our chats are focused around pain points like group dynamics and the “messy” middle of projects. Crowdsource obstacles and get insight and best practices from a diverse audience.You can do it from the comfort of your own home in your sweat pants! In all seriousness, one of the benefits of Twitter chats is that you can participate anywhere you can access Twitter. Through a computer or your mobile phone, you can squeeze in an hour of PD from your living room, on the train home or while waiting for your child’s soccer practice to end.Now that you know some of the benefits of joining Twitter Chats, here is a quick overview on how to participate in a #PBLChat:Set up a Twitter account. Go to www.twitter.com, and create a free account. Choose a Twitter handle that is professional and easy to search and choose a professional profile picture.Follow @NewTechNetwork on Twitter. Click here or enter “@NewTechNetwork” in the search bar in Twitter. Click on the @NewTechNetwork profile page in results and click on “Follow.”Log in to Twitter and join the chat. Mark the date of the chat on your calendar and be sure to log-in at 8pm EST on the day of the chat! Search #PBLChat to follow the stream. Enter “#PBLChat” in the search bar and click on the “Latest” tab to follow the stream. Alternatively, you can use a third-party tool like Hootsuite or Tchat.io to create an aggregated hashtag stream.Tweet your answers with the hashtag #PBLChat! Respond to our questions and include #PBLChat in your tweet to ensure that your response enters into the stream. Feel free to also respond to people directly just be sure to include the #PBLChat hashtag! Now that you know why and how to participate, mark your calendar for our upcoming #PBLChats!: 

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