Twitter: Expand your PLN
Increase Student Learning and Leverage Technology

METC 50-Minute PresentationSt. Charles, Missouri

February 9, 2010

Check out all the resources in this wiki by clicking on the various pages in the left sidebar. A 50-minute session is barely time to define Twitter, discuss some of its uses, and share some of its features. This session is intended to help people expand their "twitdom" to include people who will provide participants with continuous resources and encourage you to be an active participant passing along resources to your followers (tweet, retweet, direct messages).

Regardless of your role in education, you can increase your knowledge and skills because there are many great people to follow. There are also many additional reasons beyond PD that your school, teachers, classrooms, and students should use Twitter (microblogging), blogs, wikis, and other web publishing activities (see Web 2.0 resources in the left sidebar).

What are PLN, PLC, and PLE?
from Clif Mim's Podstock 2009 Slideshare Presentation
Empower yourself!
Take charge of your personal professional development!

Reflection, Feedback, &/or Comment via Wallwisher -- Click here!

Session Plan/Overview
Opening Remarks -- Personal Experience using Twitter as a PD Tool

Getting familiar:
Why did you come? (What do want to take home from this session?)
What is the extent of your Twitter experience?
How many people, . . .

  • do not have a Twitter account?
  • have an account and barely use it (or follow only 5-15 people fellow professionals)?
  • cannot see the purpose and/or benefits of Twitter?
  • enjoy Twitter and can see some professional benefits?
  • love Twitter and realize that it can be a great learning resource?

Things to Ponder!

In your opinion, . . . . .

  • what is the purpose of professional development (PD)?
  • what is the purpose of a PLN/PLC?
  • how much time must you dedicate to significantly increase your skills and effectively incorporate your learning into your teaching reperatoire?
  • how much time must you invest in your interest area in order to become a teacher learder and/or expert?

What is the extent of your PLC/PLN/PLE?
  • 2-3 fellow teachers
  • your department (grades 9-16)
  • your grade level(s) -- (K-5; 6-8)
  • school district (SAD, RSU)
  • region
  • statewide
  • worldwide via blogs, wikis, and/or Twitter

Who currently motivates you?

  • superintendent
  • curriculum coordinator
  • principal
  • 1 or more colleagues
  • Dozens of highly respected professionals from around the world

What kind of people enrich a PLC or critical friends group?

Important Qualities of Members of an Effective PLC/PLN/PLE

  1. caring
  2. supportive
  3. empathetic
  4. helpful
  5. sharing
  6. honest
  7. provide feedback (positive & negative)
  8. professional
  9. skilled
  10. knowledgeable
  11. leaders
  12. experts
You can easily find these people on Twitter!!!
How would you rate the effectiveness of your school's PD activities? your PLN/PLC?
  • Fair?
  • Average?
  • Above Average?
  • Outstanding?

What's missing from your group?

  • variety of people/ideas
  • honesty
  • full, open discussion
  • convenient meeting times (when your brain is fresh)

What types of learning activities does your school/district provide?

  • presenters during in-service days (one size fits all)
  • focused district-wide learning opportunities
  • critical friends groups (Socratic discussions)

How many total hours do you dedicate to professional development?

  • How much more is this than what your school/district offers?
  • How many hours of PD does your school/district expect from you annually?

When does this PD/training occur?

  • the day or two before school opens each year
  • afternoons on early release day
  • full day inservice efforts
  • the last days of the school year

In what other types of professional development do you take part?

Other Possible Options for personal professional development:

  1. Extensive reading (print, news, blogs, wikis)
  2. Reading, thinking, responding, writing (actively following your interests using social media tools)
  3. Taking college courses

Expand your network using Web 2.0 tools
Some options:

  • blogging (reading, writing)
  • RSS feeds
  • Join social network groups
  • independent research
  • Microblogging (Twitter, Plurk, etc.)

Access your personally selected professional development experts at your convenience.

Twitter will provide you will all types of resources:

  • new web 2.0 tools
  • blog posts
  • videos
  • podcasts
  • relevant news stories
  • conference notes and links
  • (add your thoughts here)

Go about your work! Twitter fits nicely into a very busy lifestyle.
Address your PD and personal interests when convenient (24/7/365 access).

Ways to Access Resources
Twitter Feed (most common)
Search by Twitter account
Search by topic
Search by event

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, your interest in this topic, and mostly for your amazing dedication to your students/our children.