Monday, 6 May 2013

Twitter Growing Pains?

Just finished a Twitter presentation for elementary and high school principals. The range if experience and comfort levels with Twitter really varied. Some had zero experience while others had a moderate comfort level. Some people had multiple accounts for school and home and others had an account but had never really done anything with it.

I've been at all these different levels. Five years ago I started my Twitter account. At first I had no idea where to start. When I did get going I became totally overwhelmed by the number of tweets that were flying around. Quickly I lost interest and put Twitter aside.

This is exactly where many of the principals seemed to be during this presentation. So the focus of my presentation became:

1. How to filter your tweets using hashtags.
2. How to make a list or follow a list.
3. Finding a niche and following like minded educators.

The moment that educators see the value of joining a Professional Learning Network (PLN) Twitter begins to make sense. The exchange of ideas, the answering of questions and the sense of community are all some of the things that make me keep using Twitter as my key online professional development.

I'd like to thank all those amazing educators out there that have have taken the time to answer questions when I pose them. As a result I always answer questions that other pose on Twitter if I feel that I can help out. Sometimes I can't, but know of someone that can and I point them in that direction.

Take a chance and ask a question. Better yet answer a question if you come across one that you can help with. It won't be long before you have created your very own PLN with people you check up on on a regular basis and probably share resources with.


  1. Good description, Tim. It sounds like it was a success event. I often wonder why there are people who are hesitant to jump aboard. My theory is that, in education, we're accustomed to formulas. Do this; do this; do this; and this will result. I think that Twitter is so open ended and the learning limitless that it's hard to see the value of jumping in knowing that there may not necessarily be a defined end in sight. Of course, once you do, you realize that "no end" is a good thing and the reason why so many become engaged.

  2. Thanks for the comment Doug. I agree. There are no real limitations and no end in sight. It goes on and on and on. Once you get your head around that and discover your niche you see the value and the purpose. It is all about the baby steps and getting comfortable with the new medium. I believe the even was pretty successful and we are getting more educators here involved with Twitter as a PLN and PD. Thanks!