Monday, February 21, 2011


I've been tweeting now for a couple of years and it truly is an interesting place to learn or share.  I get plenty of good ideas, links to fantastic blogs, articles and videos from Twitter.  It's my PLN (Professional Learning Network) or (Personal Learning Network).

There are many things that I consider important to remember about's a few that come to mind.

Follow the Right People:  The key to a great PLN is to follow people on Twitter that help me in some way.  For instance, if I'm an elementary teacher, I might follow other elementary teachers...and maybe not a lead singer for a rock band from Detroit.  I also enjoy following someone with humor.  I find it equally interesting seeing a tweet that has a punchline.  Often it brings a smile to an otherwise dry period in the day.  I mean, c'mon folks...I don't want to be serious all of the time.

Not a Time Waster:  Think of Twitter not as a time waster...but as a time saver.  It all boils down to who I follow.  If I follow great people and organizations, they'll post items that will help me out.  They'll post links to articles, videos and blogs that I might not have ever found.

We Don't Know It All:  I definitely know people who believe that they know it all.  Maybe they just quit learning...or maybe have failed to stay current and quit learning as soon as they got their degree from college.  You know, "I have my degree.  I now know it all."  If I knew it all, I'd be on Jeopardy playing against Watson...the super computer.  By the way, I don't know it all...(keep your comments to a minimum please).

Live Beyond Your Walls:  Here's the deal.  I (you, we) do NOT live in a world where the sum of our knowledge comes from our teacher(s), our peers where we work or natural god-given intellectual ability.  There's a HUGE world out there and applications like Twitter allow quick access to great minds.

Cliques:  I do see cliques that have formed on Twitter.  When one person in a clique posts something, then their friends chime in, answer the question, retweet the post, etc. etc.  In other words, they get the help that they need or ask for.  While others don't.  Of course there are factors that I (we) can't control.  For instance, who's "on" Twitter when the post is made?  In other words, if my followers aren't actually on Twitter at the time of the post, they may not be there to help.  Sometimes it's like a slot machine.  Sometimes you win...sometimes you don't.  I defer to my first suggestion "Follow the Right People".

Just Be A Creeper:  Not, that's not sick.  Don't be a a creeper.  What I mean is, if you are posting questions and aren't getting answers...just follow a bunch of great people and see what they post.  In other words, just watch the Twitter stream.  There's plenty to gain from watching.

I know that for some people, Twitter won't be their cup of tea...and that's ok.  But as for Twitter, the bottom line is that it's an amazing place to learn, share and expand my personal knowledge. 

Give it a try.

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