Thing 22.5 : Step into the Stream... Try Twitter

So, here we are at the end (which is really just the beginning) of our learning journey. Where do we go from here?


An underlying theme of this course is the importance of becoming a networked learner (and helping our students to do the same). A networked learner is someone who learns from connections to others. You already have a face-to-face network and probably connect online through websites, listservs, discussion groups, etc… (and Google Reader!). Social media tools such as Twitter, Blogs, social networks and social bookmarking tools make it easy to expand your network (and your professional learning) both powerfully and exponentially.

As we have all seen during recent political events and natural disasters, social media tools are helping to change the world. We need to consider how these tools should also be changing our classrooms and schools, and how they impact our students as learners and future citizens and leaders. We have to participate to know.

I learn much and am grateful every day for the resources, ideas and conversations shared by the generous, thoughtful educators to whom I am connected online, particularly through my Twitter feed. I literally feel that I “stand on the shoulders of giants” who push my thinking, enlighten me and just generally make me better at what I do.

Step into the Stream: Seven Reasons for Becoming a Networked Leader Learner

Direct Link to Video:

Discovery Exercise

PART 1 (~15 minutes): Learn a bit about the power of Twitter for professional learning & connection.

Watch the following video and read the these two brief posts:

How to Harness Twitter for an Extraordinary PLN (Personal Learning Network)

Direct link to video:

PART 2 (~75 minutes over the course of a week): Try Twitter
  1. Sign up for Twitter. Use your real name and fill out your profile with your location, profile pic and helpful bio. (People won't follow you back if they aren't sure who you are).
  2. Post at least three Tweets -- one can be a "Hello world, I am here to learn" kind of tweet. The other two should be relevant to education -- simply share a favorite web resource or something of value from your Google Reader -- be sure to visit the actual article or post so that you can get the permalink. (People won't follow you back if you never post anything. I still take way more than I give on Twitter, but I am working on that).
  3. Find and follow some educators and other minds of interest. You will have to work at this over time -- much like finding blogs to follow. Click Follow to add them to your own account.
  4. Over the next week: Spend 10 minutes a day on Twitter
  • Each day post at least one tweet and spend a few minutes reading others tweet in your stream.
  • Explore new folks to follow by checking out who others are following, replying to and retweeting.
  • Try exploring a hashtag or two as it comes through your stream.

‡ HELP Page: Sign up for Twitter
‡ HELP Page: Anatomy of Twitter Lingo - @ Reply, # Hashtag, Retweet, Favorite
‡ HELP Video: How to post a Tweet (with a link and a hashtag!)
‡ HELP Video: Intro to the Twitter Interface


Write a brief blog post sharing your thoughts about using Twitter for professional learning and connection. I hope you will commit to spending a few weeks cultivating your Twitter experience for a few minutes each day before you abandon it. An easy but worthy goal may be simply to share one thing you learned on Twitter each day for a month.

Stretch Task

Participate in an educational Twitter chat of your choice. Be sure to use the search feature to follow all Tweets that are part of the chat. Learn more about Twitter chats here: