Christy Steffen Leave the Chalk Behind

Growing Your PLN Through Twitter

“Why Twitter?” is a question teachers often ask. I will attempt to answer why I use twitter in a short and sweet post. Teachers (or administrators) don’t have time to do everything they would like to do so they need a good reason for something to take up their time. I feel Twitter is a great way to give teachers great information in very short bursts and at their leisure. I check Twitter in the evening while relaxing in my recliner. It doesn’t take a lot of time (or brain power of which I have none past 7pm).

Once you know who (and what hashtags) to follow, Twitter can connect you to educators around the world. Some of the people I follow provide great information in the way of links to websites, articles, research, and videos. They curate all the education news for me, saving me from wandering around the internet aimlessly. I follow hashtags (#INeLearn; #HECC; #edtech; to name a few) to participate in chats with people that I don’t necessarily follow. #INeLearn has a chat every Thursday evening at 8pm. If I am on at that time, I connect with educators from all over Indiana as well as other states. Many people I follow will tweet a hashtag inviting people to participate in a chat. This is how I have conversed with Will Richardson and other educators around the world. Without Twitter, I would never get to connect with these people (unless Noblesville would like to pay for me to travel…I wouldn’t complain). Twitter has expanded my personal learning network in ways I could not have without it.

Here is a list of educational Twitter chats.

I use Tweetdeck to keep my lists and hashtags organized.

Below are two lists to help you get started with twitter. The first is a list of educators I follow. The second is the Indiana eLearning hashtag. You can follow either of these by clicking on the blue bird in the top right corner. You must set up a twitter account to enable this feature.

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