The Twitter Personal Learning Network…What Twitter is really good for.

How do teachers use Twitter?

A few years ago I joined Twitter and began the process of trying to cultivate a following.  Call it Twitter 1.0.  My plan was to get parents and students to use it and I would tweet little news or idea blurbs.  Great idea, right?  Well, not so much.  I only had 14 followers in 6 months, and some of them were strippers.  There just wasn’t that much interest in it.  What I didn’t understand is that to really use Twitter well, you need:

  1. A message that appeals to the masses
  2. A target audience likely to be on Twitter.

I didn’t have that.  Most of my parents were not on Twitter, because they had no specific need to do so. My students, if they were on Twitter, used it for purposes other than school, or did not join at all. The only random follows I got were the strippers.

Version 2.0 came with the idea that I was following a few really good educators who regularly posted great classroom ideas.  Eventually, I shut down my classroom tweets, and started to follow everyone I could find who offered ideas for education, and those who tweeted other interesting content (news, politics, and sports).

I now consistently follow about 2000 people (the follow limit), all of whom tweet daily.  I have a steady stream of current education ideas, links and other content to peruse whenever I have a moment or two.  If I miss content, no big deal.  The best stuff is retweeted for days.  I mark links that I want to keep with the favorite star so I have it for later.

I also tweet ideas and sites I have found useful, and am inching toward 1300 followers. My blog posts are added to Twitter as I create them. I repost them a few times for greater exposure.

I now see that Twitter is about building a personal learning network.  Education is a great field to do that with.  I have learned so much from other educators on Twitter, I can’t believe others don’t tap into this resource.

Join the conversation!

Find me on Twitter: @CLOUDUCATION_

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