Web2 course M9: Twitter, the PLN of choice.

This is a reflection post as part of a Professional Development course our school is undertaking.

In this module, participants were encouraged to consider how social networks could be used for personal and professional (educational) purposes; including Second Life, Facebook, Linked In & Twitter.

Another popular platform which I have seen many educators use for professional purposes is Google +. However, my tool of choice, and the tool which has made the biggest impact in my development as an educator, is Twitter. Here is why:

  1. It allows me to tap into areas of education that are relevant to me. A few years ago I used twitter to research current trends in #BYOT and #mlearning for tertiary study. Being able to find people and resources on this topic was invaluable.
  2. It allows me to connect to other link-minded individuals. Like-minded individuals who care about staying abreast with technology and their own educational development. Twitter has deepened my perspective on education and learning, and has connected me to blogs, nings, webinars and new tools that other tweeters share.
  3. It allows for a richer experience at conferences, teach meets, and other networked educational events. Sitting, listening and engaging with educators in a physical sense is one thing. But this is taken to a whole new level when your engagement with others becomes expanded in a digital sense. Being able to follow conference hashtags that one is not even attending is an experience in itself!

 

For me, twitter has impacted me as an educator in a major way since I started using it (@anthsperanza). I can honestly say that it changed the way I think about my own classroom, school, and teaching & learning practises. I am a firm believer in a collaborative approach to education. Twitter has given me access to an amazing network of educators, from all different sectors and walks of life.

Hoping to share my enthusiasm with my colleagues at school, I lead a presentation to staff in regards to twitter and it’s usefulness as a Professional Learning Network tool. There has been some take-up, albeit most of the behaviour seems to be sign-up, follow, lurk, and the odd update here and there (this is fine, as we all need to start somewhere and find our feet). I take comfort in the fact that these educators are starting to embrace the truth  that our profession is not private, and that we don’t improve as individuals unless we share ideas and thoughts, and reciprocate on these.

After all, isn’t this the type of learning that we expect from our students?

In a previous blog post, I asked the question whether educators that are serious about educational technology are willing to utilise digital tools to connect themselves to online networks, to seek and take control of their own learning and development. For me, Twitter has been the perfect avenue.

Below is a list of resources that I think educators would find beneficial if they are looking to build their PLN on twitter:

  • My presentation on Twitter – What’s in it for teachers and why should we care?

http://prezi.com/embed/ee19220aba5bc8414ba0c2f1c99aada426ccdab2/?bgcolor=ffffff&lock_to_path=0&autoplay=0&autohide_ctrls=0&features=undefined&disabled_features=undefined

Are you actively building your PLN?

2 thoughts on “Web2 course M9: Twitter, the PLN of choice.

  1. Hi Anthony, I agree Twitter can be really benefical if used properly. I have been a Twitter user for a while but not in an education sense until a few weeks ago. However in the short time that I have created a Twitter account for an educational purpose I have seen how well it can be used to transmit ideas and information. Thanks for all the information that you have given the staff and the world now in the best ways to use Twitter.

    However I have a question for you.
    What are your thoughts on LinkedIn? I have recently created an account and noticed that it is used as much for education as it is in the bussiness world. Do you think it will launch in an education sense?

    Stu

    Like

  2. Hi Stu,

    I’m glad to have another twitter convert on board! The other day at the ISTE conference I heard a great quote: “your world is only as big as your own world”. I think that using Twitter educationally expands our horizons and thinking beyond what we immediately experience. Learning is about sharing and connecting with others, and I believe it opens up to new perspectives and learning.

    In regards to LinkedIn, it definitely pulls it’s weight in the commercial world. I know a few educators who use LinkedIn to connect with others, but I think more use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest etc for education.

    Anthony.

    Like

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