As a physics student who always thought I’d become a research scientist and live out my days in academia, my transition into the business world has been quite the learning experience.
Two years ago, after graduating from IU, I started my first “real job” at Solution Tree, a company that does so many things that it’s hard to define what we do. The best way I’ve found to describe it is that we partner with K-12 educators to help schools and districts improve—ideally, creating long-term learning solutions. We do this by publishing books through Solution Tree Press, hosting educational conferences and workshops in the US and Canada, and sending consultants to evaluate and partner with schools to help them create healthier cultures and systems that ultimately help more students learn.
Now, as my company’s first ever Social Media Specialist, my job is constantly evolving. Not only do I communicate with the educators we serve through Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks—I also have the opportunity to work closely with our authors and associates. As a company that puts on over 100 events a year, I’ve also gotten to experiment with using Twitter hashtags at live events, where attendees share their takeaways and use this as another method of networking and connecting with fellow learners.
In addition to all this, since I started here I’ve been the point person managing content on our commerce-free, PLC-focused blog, AllThingsPLC.info. I’ve honestly never liked the TLD (.info? Really?), but the website itself offers a wealth of helpful information for educators—from blog posts by Rick and Becky DuFour, two of our most popular speakers and authors, to evidence and strategies from over 100 schools that have implemented PLCs successfully for at least 3 years.
To help our social media audience learn about the great resources offered on AllThingsPLC, I decided to start a regular Twitter chat using the hashtag #atplc.
Every Thursday evening, from 9-10 p.m. EDT, educators from around the world connect with each other on Twitter by searching for the hashtag #atplc. This weekly hour-long PLC-focused discussion is a place for teachers and leaders to find inspiration and new ideas to use in their own schools. We sometimes even have our authors moderate and facilitate chats, and have occasional book giveaways where one random chat participant receives a free copy of a new title!
Past author moderators include Chris Jakicic, Kim Bailey, Ken Williams, Eric Twadell, Cassie Erkens, Tom Hierck, Tim Kanold, Jane Kise, Chris Weber, Mike Mattos, and Austin Buffum. We’ve also had plenty of PLC school and district leaders volunteer to facilitate chats.
The archive of all past chats, and a schedule of upcoming chats, lives on the AllThingsPLC blog.