Hi! My name is Kim Firth Leonard (@KimFLeonard). I have been working in program evaluation and/or higher education assessment for about as long as Twitter has been around, but only joined the fray about a year ago. I believe Twitter can be a rich professional development resource – this post is meant to help fellow evaluators tap into this resource too.
Lesson learned: Twitter is a micro-blog. There are wonderful insights, blossoming ideas, and important questions posed in those 140 character posts. I frequently discover things I want to learn more about in my Twitter feed. “Favoriting” tweets allows me to show my support for a post or idea and return to it later when I have time to dig deeper.
Lesson learned: Twitter is a gateway to a garden of resources that might otherwise be hidden in the vastness of the internet. Tweets often include links to explore topics more deeply, such as links to blog posts, news articles, etc. Take this recent tweet as an example:
Lesson learned: Twitter is a learning community that provides opportunities to engage with other evaluators to share information and discuss topics of interest. I’ve “met” and gotten to know a number of evaluators through Twitter who I might not otherwise have met at all (like @SheilaBRobinson and @AnnKEmery). And Twitter can remove distance and intimidation barriers as well. It’s been delightful to connect with evaluators I might never have approached directly in real life, like Dr David Fetterman (@EmpowerEvaluate) and Stephanie Evergreen (@evalu8r)!
Hot Tip: Email inbox growing cluttered? No time to read your RSS feeds or the many blog emails filling your screen? Use Twitter to keep track of your favorite evaluation blogs. Not only are bloggers on Twitter likely to post links to their new work, but the work of others that is likely of interest. Better still, follow @evalcentral, an evaluation blog aggregator managed by Chris Lysy (@clysy).
Rad Resource: AEA keeps a list of evaluators on Twitter posted on its website. There are almost two dozen organizations and over 100 individuals listed!
Hot Tip: Here are just a few of my favorites not already mentioned.
Know of others? Add them in the comments.
Hot Tip: It’s easy to join! All you need is an email address to get started at www.twitter.com. The more evaluators in the twitter-sphere, the richer the resource for all of us!
Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.