Guest Post about Twitter on PLN Challenge

As I have blogged about before, Edublogs supports a Student Blogging Challenge and Teacher Blogging Challenge which are two excellent forms of free professional development.

The current Teacher Blogging Challenge is called “30 Days to a Whole New PLN”.

There will be two or three posts each week about setting up, enhancing, and participating in your very own personal learning network.

This week, I was invited to write a guest post on using Twitter to build your PLN.

Click here to find the post

In this post I answer

  • What is Twitter
  • Why you should be interested in Twitter
  • What you will get out of being on Twitter
  • How to get started with Twitter to build your PLN

Guest post Twitter PLN

Head over to the Teacher Challenge site and check it out!

Twitter from a Newbie’s Perspective!

According to the website, http://www.whendidyoujointwitter.com I joined Twitter on 9 March 2009. It wasn’t until early 2010, however that I started really using Twitter. I had tried many times previously to get into this social networking phenomenon but, like all things technological, I needed to see how Twitter could enrich my life in order to commit to really using it.

I started thinking more and more that Twitter might be of benefit to me when it became apparent that most of the writers of my favourite “ed tech” blogs are Twitter enthusiasts … I realised there must be something in it!

Sue Waters gave me the great advice that when you start using Twitter you should give it a go (ie try to do something on it each day) for a month. After that time you can make an informed decision about whether or not Twitter is for you. Well, I did this and decided that Twitter is in fact something that can enhance my professional knowledge, skills and connections.

I use Twitter solely to following teachers and people involved in technology and education (as well as a few news outlets). For me, it is more of a professional outlet, whereas I use Facebook to keep up to date with friends.

I use the TweetDeck desktop client to run Twitter and would recommend it. Generally, I have TweetDeck running all the time but I just check in when I have a chance. The beauty of Twitter is that you don’t have to keep on top of everything. Every time you check it you are sure to find out something new from one of your friends.

I use Twitter to give and to take. I like to share websites, videos, advice, articles, games etc with my followers and like to take the same in return. I also love how helpful Twitter can be. Numerous times I have put a call out on Twitter when I wanted advice on a tool or if I have a question about technology. I am always sure to find an answer and strengthen my connections with my PLN (personal learning network) along the way.

Recently, I have also discovered how worthwhile Twitter can be when looking for news. Tweets seem to reach the Internet  so much faster than traditional online news sources. An example of this was when my Internet wasn’t working the other day. I went to Twitter Search, typed in the name of my ISP (Internet Service Provider) and lo and behold, there were already many tweets from people reporting that their connections with this ISP were also down (in case you’re confused, I have two ISPs which is why I was able to access the net when the net was down!).

In my opinion, regular interactions with Twitter is one of the best professional development activities a teacher could embark on.

Click on the image below to follow me!

twitterfollow

If you are new to Twitter, Sue Waters has an excellent wiki that has lots of information about getting started with Twitter http://suewaters.wikispaces.com/twitter

Do you use Twitter? How has it changed your life?

Not on Twitter? What do you think is holding you back?