Sunday, March 6, 2011

Journal 2 - Join the Flock & Enhance Your Twitter Experience (NETS-T I, III, V)

Miller, Shannon. (2010). Enhance your twitter experience. Learning & Leading With Technology, 37(8), Retrieved from

Ferguson, Hadley. (2010). Join the flock!. Learning & Leading With Technology, 37(8), Retrieved from

Summary:  Due to the current stigma associated with Twitter many individuals involved in the educational field shy away from it, seeing it as merely a way to follow celebrities and athletes.  In their articles Miller and Ferguson address the unseen potential uses of Twitter for educators.  The primary focus of both articles is the importance of building a PLN, or Personal Learning Network.  Building a PLN is the primary goal of Twitter and is one major reason why Twitter can be entirely beneficial to educators.  A PLN can be built by following the steps Ferguson mentions in her article "Join the Flock!"

The first step to building a successful PLN is to merely undergo the process of joining Twitter.  Twitter is an excellent tool because of how little effort is necessary to create and maintain an account.  After developing an account the next step is to follow people who have similar interests.  For example, Ferguson states she follows educators, history teachers, and middle school teachers because she teaches history in middle school.  Instead of going through the process of searching endless pages for people to follow Ferguson suggests looking at a well established member who has very similar interests as oneself.  From there simply following the people they follow will give a user vast resources without sifting through garbage.    The next step to creating a successful PLN is to learn from those one follows.  If a tweet is interesting enough simply retweeting it will allow other users to see your interests and follow you.  Once one has gathered a large enough following one can begin posting their own thoughts that followers may wish to retweet, continuously growing an users PLN.

Both Ferguson and Miller advise educators to use Twitter as a tool to expand one's knowledge of the field.  Instead of attending massive conventions Twitter allows a user to stay at home and network without spending a penny.  In this way Twitter is an exceptional tool for teachers.

Question 1: Both articles state that Twitter is an excellent way for teachers to find teaching resources.  How can a student utilize Twitter?

Answer 1: In the same way Ferguson and Miller advise teachers to use Twitter I believe students can use the tool.  A student can also create a PLN to discover excellent resources to assist with homework and create interesting projects that many other students may not know about.

Question 2: How can a high school history teacher utilize Twitter?

Answer 2: In the same way Ferguson uses Twitter to find interesting resources for a middle school history teacher a high school history teacher can use Twitter.  By creating a PLN that includes multiple high school history teachers one can enjoy vast resources that give an educator ideas on presenting history using technology, videos for certain topics and projects for students.

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