These days a lot of new terms are flooding the net…for example: ‘Digital Immigrant’ (anybody born before 1980), ‘Digital Native’ (anybody born from 1980 onwards), and Digital Settler (anybody born before 1980 that adapted very well to using digital technology as part and parcel of their learning and teaching.) You may also be familiar with Tweeting on Twitter,(and if you tweet regularly, you may even see yourself as a resident of the Twitterverse), but if you have no idea what I am talking about now, you are probably Twit-less (someone that does not use Twitter).
I find myself resorting more and more to my personal learning network (PLN) on Twitter to find answers to my questions. It is wonderful to pose a question, and within minutes have the answers flowing back to me from all over the world. I can sit in the comfort of my own home at any time of the day or night, and find out interesting facts or just funny factoids and indeed, I am following @factoid on Twitter just for that reason. I smile at the silly reasoning of @duhism (someone that pokes fun at our otherwise logical assumptions). I follow and learn from educators who freely share their resources, I celebrate some of their successes in class, and become aware of possible dangers or pitfalls when using E-Learning in schools. Most of all, I am no longer alone in my quest to move the critical mass of teachers towards using more technology in the planning of their lessons and their assessments.
Twitter is micro-blogging. You are only allowed to type 140 characters per tweet. It forces you to clarify your thoughts and be concise.
If you have never tried Twittering, start by going to Twitter (http://twitter.com/), join, then click on Find People and look for people that may be twittering about educational issues (e.g. Anne Mirtschin, Will Richardson, Jenny Luca, Karl Fisch, Andrew Douch, and me!) … then just click the Follow button for each. Go back to Twitter often, ask questions, share your favourite websites, or just tell (tweet) others about your educational journey. Do what we always tell our students to do: “Be brave, just take a risk and try it!” Pretty soon, you will have your own little PLN. Happy Twittering!
Note: I listed some more resources about PLN’s and Twitter for teachers here:
- Personal Learning Network: http://marynabadenhorst.global2.vic.edu.au/pln/
- Twittertools for Teachers: http://marynabadenhorst.global2.vic.edu.au/twittertools4tchrs/
If you want to start a similar network in your classroom to encourage collaboration with your students, try Edmodo (http://www.edmodo.com/). Edmodo was created as traditional web 2.0 tools in a k-12 classroom environment could create concerns over privacy. Edmodo has been built with the privacy of students in mind.