Are You Using Twitter Effectively For Your Personal Learning?

Are You Using Twitter Effectively For Your Personal Learning?

twitterBack in August I wrote a post titled Is Twitter shifting blogging to a new phase? I have decided to take it back!!!! Not only is twitter totally shifting blogging into a new phase but it is also changing the nature of our conversations and is incredibly important for our personal learning.

If you are not using twitter and wondering why any one would like to know “What you are doing?” well while you are going this is a Web 2.0 tool I don’t need to know about there are amazing conversations happening in the twitter networks that are important!

So what astonishing events was I involved with today as a result of my twitter universe?

Well there was so many — here are a few just from this morning!

Social Software07 PD

Woke up early with my Thursday morning dose of Social Software in the Classroom Open PD session. Where I was transported into a classroom in Utah, USA which is being taught by Darren Draper and Robin Ellis (who is in Pennsylvania) and we were joined other educators around the World.

I have absolutely enjoyed attending these sessions — so many highlights but here are a few:

  • Technology wise — how loved seeing Skype and Yugma (free online virtual classroom) used for delivering these sessions. Worked so well!
  • Conversations — many of us are all in these sessions while doing our other commitments so we get an insight into each others lives. E.g. loved how Kristin was participating while braiding her daughter’s hair. While we were on a break her kids were asking me about my strange accents and if I see kangaroos in our city streets — answer yes! Although I did not mention that occasionally cars hit them on our freeway (might have been too much information for that age!)


While in Darren’s social software session I quickly jumped into Leigh Blackall’s keynote address for Navcon2K (NSW, Australia) thanks to Judy O’Connell providing us with twitter updates on the presentation.

Apparently Leigh said “that we ‘caught him out’ – he was surprised” but Judy said “it was cool to see his reaction.” And how did we catch him out — well he asked for questions so Judy twittered it and I responded. He was spun out that global learners were trying to ‘listen in’ – and we had asked a question to him that fit with the keynote!!

Message to all presenters and conferences — we are using twitter and are live blogging!!!

  • Organisers of Conferences — you must provide free wireless access or your attendees won’t be happy! And I would strongly recommend that you set up a conference twitter account to keep participants updated with latest news!
  • Presenters be warned! You are no longer just presenting to the audience in the room you are now presenting to a global audience — yesterday Rachael Boyd invited me through Twitter into Ewan McIntosh’s key note for Ulearn using Skype.

Off to the Pub!

Finally with all the hard work from Darren’s session it was time for a drink so where else should I go but to a pub somewhere in USA with Will Richardson, Steve Dembo and David Jakes being broadcast live via uStream.

Like everyone else I was totally blown away by the quality of the live feed considering they were in a pub on wireless. Incredible! Would love to tell you about the amazing conversations but oops I was paying attention to how powerful uStream could be as a tool!



Today I gained so much from Twitter — and all this happen from my house in Western Australia — great conversations, saw great tools in action and participated in conferences virtually. Thanks to everyone in my twitter network for helping me with my personal learning! If you are in twitter and not using it much — I suggest you rethink it! There is a massive party going on and you don’t even realise it!

So what are your thoughts on twitter? Are you using it? And if you are, how has it changed your life?

12 thoughts on “Are You Using Twitter Effectively For Your Personal Learning?

  1. I’ve not been reading blogs for what… a month now? maybe more? I’m way behind and its gotten to the point now where i wont be able to catch up. But I check Twitter a couple of times a day to find out whats going on. Blogs are stale. Great for learning but not so great for finding out whats going on NOW.

  2. Hi Sue, Twitter has completely changed my life. It’s great for throwing out questions to like minded people, and it helps me keep up to date with breaking nptech news and posts, and like you I learn so much more and connect in a way with others that I could never have done before (like you!)

    Agree totally with your remarks about conferences, one of its best uses for me stuck in the UK, when I can use streaming to watch and twitter to throw in questions to friends that attend.

  3. Hi Sue, I have heard about Twitter but not looked at it yet. As a newbie, its taking me time to get my head around all these different concepts. I feel a bit like ‘Jonny no-friend’ at the moment, standing between communities yet not established in either. What I mean is: I haven’t managed to find anyone in midwifery who uses these tools but midwifery is the community I strongly identify with. But I am not a member of the education community who use these tools – I think I’ll have to mull over this on my blog.

    At the moment I am trying to make a slidecast but am struggling with the audio aspect and making a MP3 file on my computer. I have downloaded ‘Audacity’ as recommended by Leigh but haven’t where to go from there. So thats my challenge for the weekend.

    BTW, I really welcome non-midwife comments on my blog. cheers

  4. Twitter added a dimension to ULearn that I wasn’t expecting. Being able to discuss a point made by a presenter as it was said, without bothering those around you is magic. We were able to debate, make fun, question and generally connect during the conference via twitter and it was the highlight of the conference for me. It was also fun having people chime in from all over the world, not just those who were sitting in the keynote with us.

  5. Thanks for the post. I will be in Darren’s class on Wednesday. I work with him and feel light years behind. somebody wrote blogs are stale, but I sure learn a lot from them! Thanks for your post!

  6. Wow sorry guys have been so busy packing and organising for this trip I thought I had responded to these comments. Please forgive me!

    Will check out “Yugma Skype Edition?” and get back to you on it.

    What can I say — was pleased to interact. Would love feedback from Leigh but know he is really busy.

    The session on Ustream in the pub was amazing. Still thinking about its uses in a classroom.

    Yes I can understand in your field maybe that is the case. I still feel that in our area blogs and twitter give us different dimensions. The biggest shame is the impact that twitter is having on people blogging. We need to remember that not all our readers are on twitter. Is twitter effecting your writing of posts?

    It has been really pleasing see all you people based in the UK get involved with twitter. Love reading the twits from overnight on what you have been up to.

    I have similar issues with aquaculture as I do not connect with any other aquaculture educators using these tools but am with educators into Web2.0. Ok will post comments on midwife posts.

    Loved your first SlideCast – virtual clap on back!

    I am calling it my addiction–believe people may take away my PDA so I can focus when out!

    Definitely– loved reading your twits from the conference and being able to interact with all of you.

    I love Darren’s class — don’t stress. Sue Waters did not happen overnight — this has been a long journey that is still learning. Blogs are definitely not stale and we are neglecting the people that need help by not blogging! Sorry I could not be at the class last week — work got in the way. I am really enjoying the sessions. Hoping to wake up early this week so can attend.

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