Leading the Conversation: Senior Leaders' use of Twitter


Having been wallowing in the shallow end of Twitter for six months or so I have marvelled, from a safe distance, at the exciting antics of the strong swimmers in deep end. Twitter has incredible power to link teachers and to allow them to share their thoughts.
For senior leaders, doing jobs that have traditionally been isolating, the potential of Twitter to link, to share, to unload and, above all to not feel so alone, is immense.
In view of its explosive, democratising power I have decided to make Twitter the focus of my EdD thesis. Having been following Birmingham University's EdD in Leaders and Leadership since Septemer 2011 and having completed the two taught years of the course, I am now embarking on the research element.
I have framed a series of research questions and intend to follow as many senior school leaders as I can on Twitter to analyse what is being said and how the medium is being used.
Of course, in the spirit of Twitter, I don't expect the traffic to be all one way and will periodically be posting updates on my findings. Interacting with the very thing I'm investigating in this way poses some interesting dilemmas about possible Hawthorn effects which I'm sure will keep me busy when I come to writing up!
Herewith my research questions aimed at school leaders with a Twitter account:
1. For what professional development and/or institutional improvement purposes is the account being used?
2. How deep and broad are the networks of typical school leaders on Twitter?
3. To what extent has Twitter (or social networking in general) contributed to school leaders' professional and/or institutional development.
If you would like to be one of my face-to-face interview candidates please do get in touch.

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