Twitter Useful for Education?

Posted on

YES, Absolutely!

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 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!

Check out this cool presentation…

See you on Twitter, hopefully!!

Christmas 2.0

Posted on

This year I’ve decided that I’m not going to spend hours on the selecting, creating, filling out, addressing, and paying for postage for the annual tradition of holiday cards. Instead, I’ve created a virtual card using a combination of and Although it will not reach every person on my snail-mail address list, it will get to the majority of my family and friends. Those without access, such as my grandparents, can view the cards on my other relative’s computers, so I’m almost all covered. And, because the card is online, even more people than my “typical” address list can receive my holiday wishes and see photos of my family.

So, happy holidays to you, reader of my blog, from the Krause family…


Posted on

WSD’s eToolBox Wiki has been nominated for the Best Educational Wiki in the 2008 Edublog Awards, aka “The Eddies”.

Click Image to Vote

To brag or not to brag, that is the question.  It took me a few days to decide to post this shameless self-promotion, but you know what, why not?  I’m proud of the nomination and I work hard on the eToolBox.  I deserve it! 🙂

Please click the image to vote for the eToolBox.

A Day in the Life of an Instructional Technology Specialist

Posted on

Today driving home I realized – I love my job!

Today was a good day, a very productive day. Here’s a snapshot of my life on a good day.

I started out in the high school.  During my 4 hours there, I …

  • helped a teacher set up an online journal through our Moodle and how to use it and how to have the students use it.
  • worked with my PLN to find a resource for making poetry interactive.
  • helped a teacher change a project they had done in the past so that it incorporates more technology and 21st century skills.
  • taught a teacher how to use Google Docs, spreadsheets, and forms with Math students.
  • showed a teacher how to make a discussion forum on Moodle and have students respond.
  • answered a teacher’s questions about wikispaces that her students are currently working on.
  • helped a teacher with a few aspects of Moodle she didn’t quite understand.
  • talked with our union president about meeting with elementary teachers during their “planning” time instead of their “professional” time.
  • had lunch with a few new people and had a civil discussion about politics – with both R & D present!

Then, I travelled to our smallest elementary school that only has grades K-3.  There, I met with each grade’s teachers during their planning time.  There, I …

  • showed to 3rd grade teachers who will be setting their students up this weekend.  We discussed parent permission and use of the site.
  • gave a mini training session on iMovie ’08 with as many features as I can cover in 15 minutes.
  • showed Pixie to Kindergarten teachers and brainstormed uses of it in their classes.
  • shared interactive websites with Kindergarten teachers to get their students engaged during center time.
  • demonstrated web 2.0 resources such as,,, and wikispaces to 1st grade teachers.
  • helped teachers organize their files better so they are more productive.
  • fielded questions about smartboard problems, student accounts, broken printers, etc.
  • answered questions about the moodle, ning, etoolbox, and other district resources.

And, all day during and in-between meetings with teachers I constantly answered emails including, but not limited to, the followig topics…

  • moodle accounts – both student and teachers
  • mysterious emails appearing in a parent’s email box from the moodle
  • google apps and domains
  • meeting times for integration help
  • topics for upcoming trainings
  • classrooms for the future
  • smartboard problems

But at the end of the day as I was walking out of the elementary school with the young students, I thought, “I love my job!”