This Thing Called Twitter…

So … for a long time I thought twitter sounded like the most ridiculous thing in the world. Who cares that I had soup for dinner? In everything I had heard about the website, not once did using it for professional development enter the mind. However, as I explore and reflect on my own practice and my ideas about professional development, I keep running into references to twitter. My classroom is largely (not entirely, but significantly) structured around social constructivist and socio-cultural theories of learning. If I believed that individuals learn best from peers and mentors who can equip them with the social cognitive tools they need in a personal context, shouldn’t I apply a similar perspective to my own learning? Isn’t that why I pound out my ideas here on occasion (and hopefully with growing frequency) and frequent the English Companion Ning? To grow my practice along with a sense of community?

The most recent two pushes encouraging me to join the micro-blogging site was an EdWeek article by Michelle Davis, Social Networking Goes to School, and blog post on one of my regular reads, Free Technology for Teachers.  You can find the twitter specific post here.

Do you use Twitter for part of your personal learning network?  How do you put it to good use?  Any advice for a newbie like me?

I feel kind of like I’m feeling a “Check Yes or No” letter across cyberspace … but we can follow each other if you want.

I promise to never tell you what I ate for breakfast. I am: TeacherNextDoor.

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3 responses to “This Thing Called Twitter…

  1. Alexa Scordato February 10, 2011 at 12:18 am

    Hey there!

    Came across your site through Twitter and thought I would 1) introduce myself 2) respond to this post specifically since it only seems appropriate given how I found you!

    I’m the Community Manager for the MAT and so I’m responsible for the program’s Facebook page, Twitter account (@uscteacher) and student blog. As a longtime Twitter user, I’ve found that it’s a great way to search and discover curated content shared by interesting people. As you develop your personal learning network, consider participating in twitter chats (scheduled talks where users discuss topics related to a specific hashtag. For example, #ntchat

    Like

  2. Alexa February 10, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Whoops! Hit reply too soon on my comment above…

    I was going to recommend that you try participating in #ntchat (new teacher chat), #edchat (all things education), or any of the others listed in this very comprehensive list http://www.cybraryman.com/edhashtags.html

    There are also some great communities like Classroom 2.0 and the Educator’s PLN that I wrote about on our MAT blog here: http://mat.usc.edu/resources-for-teachers-edcamp-the-teacher-mentoring-project/

    Last but not least, check out the curated list of “MAT students” I’ve curated on Twitter and connect with other MAT@USC students! Everyone’s always sharing interesting links or talking about their unique class experiences.

    Keep up the great work on your blog and shoot me a note if you’re ever interested in contributing to ours! alexa.scordato@usc.edu

    Fight on!

    Like

  3. KDixon February 10, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Alexa,

    Thanks for all of the great tips and resources! I was feeling awed, yet a little lost out in twitter world. I watch all these great connections and conversations going on around me, but wasn’t quite sure how to jump in. I am especially excited about jumping into a #chat. Thanks again!

    Like

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