Sunday, November 08, 2009

Twitter to start your personal learning network

I'm working with a learning network in education using a sharepoint platform. It's hard to move from face-to-face meeting to online interaction (for a number of reasons and we're writing a whole paper about the challenges). We're experimenting with webconferences and I was suggesting to experiment with other tools like a weblog, ning, or a google group. Some are hesitant: if online interaction with one platform doesn't work well, will other tools not be even more confusing?

When I saw this video on the free technology for teachers blog with about the use of twitter for educators I was struck by the way they see twitter as THE only tool for educators. Watch the 15 minutes video if you're interested.

How is twitter used by the panel? They use twitter to connect with students, parents and other stakeholders, to share resources for teachers and to have tweetpolls and conversations. For instance, every tuesday there are discussions using hashtags. These discussions are with an international group of teachers, including teachers from Turkey etc. The one on the necessity of homework was particularly lively.

They stress that it is not twittering away about learning together. They don't call it twitter but rather a personal learning network. People become learners rather than workers and twitter helps them to continuously learn. It is a great support to teachers. One in three teachers leave because there is lack of support for them, and this can be the way to create support. They decided to start a ning to work as a repository.

Mmm, should we start a twitter experiment? I wonder whether twitter fits the teachers practice because it is so much to the point!

Twitter & Education - #140conf LA from RealPlayer SP on Vimeo.

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