I have been using Twitter; for professional and personal reasons since the summer of 2007. I currently follow 579 people, 750 people follow me and I’ve had almost 4,000 updates (3,946 right now to be exact!). I use Twitter, mostly, to tap the collective brains of the people in my network and to also provide them resources and glimpses into my life as an Instructional Technology Specialist. When I have a question, I ask it on Twitter and get a response (or 10 or more!) within SECONDS. When I’m doing something cool with students and teachers, I post it on Twitter and often solicit questions. When I’ve found a really cool resource, I share it on Twitter for my network to benefit from.
So, what is Twitter exactly? Well, at the very basic level, Twitter users answer the question, “What are you doing?” But, as explained above, it can be much much more than that. In my opinion, Twitter IS the people you follow and the people who follow you – your Personal Learning Network. Someone who joins Twitter and only has 5 followers and only follows 5 people will NOT, in my opinion, get the most out of Twitter. You need to build your network to allow for the magic to happen. Start by following a few people (you can follow me:diannekrause :), then see who they follow, and start following a few of them. Eventually people will start following you and you can then decide whether you want to follow them back or not. The glory is that you have total control who is in your network, at all times.
Of course, Twitter can also be a huge time suck if you allow it to be. No, I do not read ALL the Tweets (that’s what individual messages are called) that come through my account, but I do read the Tweets from the people in my most immediate Personal Learning Network – mostly educators and people like me from Pennsylvania. To help out in the organization of all this information and status updates, I use a 3rd party application called TweetDeck; to separate all the Tweets out into groups of my choosing. There are many such applications out there so you do not have to always navigate to Twitter.com to read your Tweets.
So, is there a place for Twitter in education? YES! Check out these resources to see how, and how you can get started with Twitter yourself. Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to ask!
- Nine Reasons to Twitter in School
- Twitter, A How-To Guide for Teachers
- Twitter for Teachers
- What is Twitter? Wikispace
- 100 Twitter Tools to Help you Achieve your All Goals
Check out this cool presentation…
See you on Twitter, hopefully!!