The professional organization that I chose to explore for this week’s assignment (PLE starter) is the (CEC) Council for Exceptional Children. I selected CEC because they are the largest national professional organization dedicated to special and gifted education. Last year I attended the CEC annual conference in Denver, CO (FYI-2013 Conference is in San Antonio if anyone is interested). It was an amazing experience as educators from all over the world had the opportunity to discuss the most pressing issues in the field, from RTI (Response to Intervention) to the proposed revision of the DSM-V diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder classification. In addition to the numerous presentations, there was an expo that provided conference attendees with the opportunity to explore cutting edge tools, services and curriculum materials. CEC also publishes a bi-monthly journal that has useful research-based practical information that I often reference in my work.
CEC has a presence in numerous social media outlets (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Foursquare, etc.), but the most popular appear to be Facebook and Twitter. I chose to take a closer look at Twitter because it is an effective tool that should be utilized when creating a PLN. Check out this video on what Twitter can do for your PLN.
After I decided to follow CEC on Twitter and take a closer look at the profiles of people that are following CEC, I chose the following (6) accounts:Dr. Nicole Beurkens SpEd Nation Sara Wasserman NCLD Sarah Potter Dara Baldwin
I selected these accounts based on company/individual profiles and then took a closer look based on the criteria below which was gathered from the following sources:Criteria: Number of followers Friends to follower ratio (more followers than friends tend to add more value) Bio Do they have a website? Are they part of the conversation? Are their tweets engaging and interesting? Is the information shared relevant to my professional growth? Do they Tweet about their sources of info? Do they add comments to their Retweets?
I chose to follow back 3 of the 6 selected accounts after further examination (Dr. Nicole Beurkens, Sarah Wasserman, NCLD). Profiles are really important when establishing a social media presence; they can make or break opportunities for individuals/organizations. A great profile can lead to increased visibility, however profiles can also be misleading-which was the case for several of the accounts that I intially selected. These accounts had interesting profiles, but when I looked at the additional criteria (participation, engagement, relevance) they fell short in a number of areas.