Open Thinkering


Twitter is not the best CPD you’ve ever received.

I see this a lot:

  1. Someone is demoing Twitter.
  2. They ask their network why they use Twitter.
  3. People respond “it’s the best CPD I’ve ever received”

No. It’s. Not.

It might be the best Continual Professional Stimulation (CPS) you’ve ever received but development is more than getting a bunch of ideas. Development is:

[The] act of improving by expanding or enlarging or refining.


[A] process in which something passes by degrees to a different stage (especially a more advanced or mature stage).

That’s why TeachMeets, for example, are better CPD for those who present at them than for those who attend. Those who merely read tweets or attend TeachMeets are being professionally stimulated but not (necessarily) developed.

Happily, many of those who experience CPS end up undergoing CPD as they put those ideas into practice, reflect on it (via their blog, TeachMeet, etc.) and then make it better.

That’s development.

That’s CPD.

That’s all. 🙂

Image CC BY-NC TarikB

13 thoughts on “Twitter is not the best CPD you’ve ever received.

  1. But presumably ‘professional’ development (as separated from personal development) is about how that stimulation or out-of-practice activity relates back to the professional role – especially that of classroom practice. Unless you’re suggesting that presenting at TeachMeets improves you as a speaker, I’d argue that both TM and stimulating/simulating PLNs are equally valid in providing inspiration for changing classroom practice, but both require a similar amount of effort in taking the out-of-classroom experience back into practice.

    And, of course, thinking about PLNs remind us that CPD, CPS and any other CP-based acronyms are ‘best’ when they are most beneficial to that person (most often as perceived by that person). Your TM may be the best for you, another’s experience of Twitter the best for them…

    That too, is all 🙂

  2. Not sure I agree 100%, Doug! I like Margaret Alcorn’s view of CPD, the 4-stage model ( not just because she is my boss! Twitter is a great collegiate tool that has a role in my development at all 4 stages. Like you, I am not a fan of “the best CPD I have received” statements as I believe the best CPD is built and Twitter is not bad addition to the toolkit (along with TeachMeets, learning rounds, educator learning communities etc)

  3. I guess there’s always an inherent sampling bias when asking people on twitter about twitter – it often comes out as ‘the best’ for something. I’m not sure how much of the wider population would consider it to be the best form of CPD?

    Having said that, any tool that gets people to think and talk more about their professional development is valuable and I do see twitter increasingly playing a role in that, even if as you rightly say that’s only the start of the much longer term and more challenging process of CPD.

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