Developing Your Personal Learning Network Using Twitter

I realize there are many amazing posts on the merits of using Twitter to develop a PLN. I also realize that there already exists dozens of collections of tools for making the most of Twitter. I also acknowledge that I have already posted on this very same topic. Yet, as I gather the resources for my presentation today at Kean University’s Center for Innovative Education, I feel it appropriate to post them here.

I was asked to present on using Twitter to develop a personal learning network. Here’s the description I provided for the session:

Developing Your Personal Learning Network Using Twitter

With over 14 million people on Twitter, if you haven’t checked it out yet, you just may be missing something. Join us for a presentation on ways Twitter can be harnessed to build a rich and powerful learning community. Whether you are a novice Tweeter or have been Tweeting for some time, you will gain tips and tricks to leverage the potential of this network using resources designed specifically for educators. Come capitalize on the face to face connections within this workshop to further enrich your Twitter experience.

I only have an hour and there’s so much about Twitter that I won’t be able to share because I will want attendees to take advantage of the face-to-face networking time before they go off to develop their online learning networks. I thought I would mention some of the tools and topics I would have liked to discuss here, so that anyone attending still has access to the information – all in one place – and of course to share with my PLN what I feel are valuable resources.

Twitter Memes and Hashtags:

Follow Friday – Each Friday, Twitter users suggests other Tweeters to follow. They end or begin their Tweet with #FollowFriday (An example.)
Teacher Tuesday suggests teachers to follow on Twitter and as the title suggest happens every Tuesday.
EdChat –  Educators pick specific topics to Tweet about and the conversation is archived.
CIE09 – The hashtag for the CIE conference on December 11, 2009

Using Twitter Hashtags – This is a great explanation of what a Hashtag is and how they are used.

Ways to Build your Network:

Twitter4Teachers – An extensive list of educators on Twitter  – categorized by subject area / grade level
Who Should I Follow? – Find new Twitter Friends
Mr.Tweet – Discover great people relevant to your current needs

Searching for Tweets and Twitterers:
Twitter Search – Search by keyword, Hashtag or even Twitter ID
TweetScan – Searches Twitter and allows you to get e-mail updates
Tweetdeck – Group people together and have separate columns for @Replies, DMs, Groups and the public timeline

Cool Twitter Tools:

Tweet Wheel– allows you to visually discover which of your followers know each other.
Top Twitter Friends –  Including a list of your top 20 BFFs and suggestions of Twitterers to follow. 

For discovering many more Twitter tools:

Top Twitter Tools for 2009
Twitter Fan Wiki

I know there are so many more tools and resources out there. Many folks in my PLN have created screencasts and video tutorials on how to use these tools and on the merits of using Twitter. They are all in my Social Bookmarks at http://delicious.com/lthumann/twitter or http://www.diigo.com/user/lthumann/twitter. I also bookmark anything related to Twitter to the Diigo Twitter Freaks Group.

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14 thoughts on “Developing Your Personal Learning Network Using Twitter

  1. Lisa, this is a great collection of resources for educators new to Twitter. Thanks for sharing. I wish many of these resources would have been available a couple of years ago when I started on Twitter. Well done.

  2. L: this is a terrific service you’ve provided. I must admit I’m overwhelmed with the flexibility of twitter, yet I don’t know where to begin or sort out what is useful to me. I’ll start exploring here.
    I’ve bought books and again, they go over my head and can’t really discern how I can take advantage of twitter. Again, thanks.

    1. @Marciano – I agree with you that Twitter can be flexible. I sometimes even suggest that teachers use http://search.twitter.com for a bit before they set up their own profile. This way they can see what it’s all about through hashtags and search queries.

      @Susan – We have to be able to network both ways, but face-to-face will still most likely always be the most powerful.

      Thank you both for your comments.

  3. Lisa,
    Great resource! Your ideas apply to all of us as there is so much that can be learned and gleaned from Twitter. What made me smile is your interest in having attendees take advantage of the “face to face” networking. Good for you! There is so much that happens in- person that simply wouldn’t happen online. Yet, we must be able to do both well. Disclaimer: I’m the author of Face to Face: How To Reclaim the Personal Touch in a Digital World and How To Work a Room.
    So glad to see that educators are incorporating social networking and you are giving them the path.
    Brava!
    Susan RoAne

  4. Tom Whitby says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this strategy for building a Professional Learning Network. We need more educators spreading the word for lifelong learning and collaboration.
    There has been so much gathering of information using the very tools that you describe that we created a Ning site to house many of these sources,The Educator’s PLN. I offer the link as an additional source to building a valuable PLN. Thanks
    http://www.edupln.ning.com

    1. Thanks Tom. Though I didn’t post the Ning in here, I did talk about it in my presentation and I am a member. I also use #edchat quite frequently as a suggestion for hashtags to follow and have a column for it in my Tweetdeck 🙂

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