Twitter For Learning


Resources for this roundtable can be found at

The Pope is now on twitter! The first tweet from the summit of Mt Everest also happened recently.
News no longer breaks, it tweets.  
In the best case scenario, Twitter is a great vehicle for connecting, sharing resources, and personal and professional learning. The key is separating the good from the bad.

Twitter doesn’t have a high degree of penetration among teachers in many schools; what are the benefits?
-    Learning at conferences
-    Online courses that use Twitter as a means of sharing resources and ideas (growing alternative to discussion boards)
-    Use of hashtags to personalize/hone learning
-    Real time news feed
-    Ability to customize learning in a specific area
-    Instant access to many different people
-    Great leveler – you can follow anyone you want and get involved in conversations with high level people

Hotseat (based at Purdue University) – proprietary tool for using Twitter that incorporates a suite of other tools

How to choose who to follow and manage streams of who you are following?
Mix of people and organizations – diversity of perspectives; who will challenge your thinking and broaden your learning?
Tweetdeck or other applications to help manage who you are following and pick up patterns – avenue for finding people to follow

Building a network takes time; it is also important to participate to generate new followers

What about classroom applications? At what age should teachers incorporate Twitter in their teaching? What about communicating with parents?
-    Never use Twitter to communicate grades or other personal information
-    Be aware that everything that is tweeted is searchable – may want to have a school/professional account to use with kids and a separate account for personal use
-    A lot of administrators are not yet users so there is a need to develop support for further integration of Twitter as another venue for communication with parents, etc.
-    Can create an institution account – need to identify who should be responsible for this (tech person vs curriculum person, etc)
-    Twitter can help develop students’ communication skills, the ability to foster their own learning, collaboration

Pixelpipe – allows you to post in different social media sites from one centralized place – links a variety of applications and you can set up “if/then” relationships