Around Edublogs: Twittering

This week in Around Edublogs we have the list of the top blogs on and a trip around Edublogs to find out what members have to say about Twitter.

The Top Ten Edublogs

The top ten blogs on this week based upon traffic are:

Discussing Twitter on Edublogs

, an online chat system, is one of the most popular social networking tools today. I thought I’d take a stroll through to see who is discussing using Twitter and how are they using it for personal and professional needs, integrating Twitter into their blogs, and how they are incorporating Twitter into the classroom.

Betchablogs writes in “Twitter – Killer App or Overkill?” about the technical aspects of Twitter, listing interesting toys and clients for Twitter, describing it thus:

Having a likeminded group of fellow Twits from which to tap into some collective wisdom turns Twitter from a curious plaything into a rather amazing personal learning environment.

Not So Distant Future talks about “Twittering Your Way Down The Information Highway” describing it as:

Getting answers to that question on Twitter from South Korea, Australia, and here in the U.S. demonstrated to our own teachers how many “universals” there are in education, no matter where you go. And even though we had been brainstorming about this question during two days, some of the Twitterers still gave fresh answers that we hadn’t considered.

I know in my own building, perhaps teachers wonder how to find time for a tool like this or how I can find time to use it? My answer is–it saves me a tremendous amount of time. When someone comes to me with a question, if I don’t know the answer, I can throw it out to a wide network of educators in my network on Twitter, and almost always get an answer.

Techno Tuesday’s Cathy Nelson reports that Twitter is a library stuffed with information and resources which helped her preview blog posts, get advanced tips on upcoming blog posts and topics, tips to global projects, sports updates, and more. She describes it as a “cross between professional conversations and gabbing on the phone about anything.” Not long after, she credits Twitter friends as helping to save her from a nasty allergic reaction after a school remodel. Nothing like virtual life saving. :D

ICT in my Classroom has written a lot about using Twitter including an introduction to incorporating Twitter into your Personal Learning Network(PLN) and participation in the @ManyVoices Project, a “collaborative, creative writing project using Twitter” where each participating child writes an ongoing part of the story within the 140 character limit. Edublogger Tom Barrett also offers lessons in how to use Twitter better by understanding Twitter’s two networks for listening (lurking) or talking and GeoTweets – Inviting your network into the classroom, an exciting experience when Twitter and his PLN really impacted his classroom while learning geography and how to use Google Earth and Twitter.

On Frank’s Blog, also known as Faces of Web 2.0 – 21st Century Teachers, he shares Sage Lewis and 17 uses for twitter, two videos to improve your Twitter usage, and How To Use Twitter In The Classroom, which covers how the teacher and students use Twitter though class chatter, classroom community, and getting a sense of the world around them.

Twitter chat exampleMobile Technology in TAFE offers a variety of tips and techniques for using Twitter as part of your personal and professional networking, as well as how to incorporate it into your class, such as Are You Using Twitter Effectively For Your Personal Learning?, Getting More Out of Twitter, Help Me Get My Twitter Magic Back, and Tagging, Tracking and Using RSS with Twitter!

Apace of Change asks “Why Twitter?” and then answers the question well, describing the benefits of of a teacher using Twitter as:

  • Network of students for sharing class resources that goes beyond social cliques
  • Built-in peer support system for immediate questions about/help with work
  • Easy way for me (or students) to send an “APB” or links to interesting/related sites
  • Convenient multi-user communication – especially useful for group project collaboration

So enthused with the possibilities of Twitter, he started The Twitteracy Project (TTP), an expermiment in incorporating Twitter into the classroom, which ended with The Twitteracy Project is Dead, Long Live the Twitteracy Project, concluding that student motivation wasn’t high enough and logistics interfered with the project as many students had trouble using Twitter from home. Determined, he says he will attempt the experiment next semester, focusing more on getting past these two roadblocks.

Reflection 2.0 recently announced a Twitter Bookgroup where Twitter fans can recommend and read books and review and critique then. She even offers some tips and advantages of participating in such a global book group. This got the attention of eLearning Now who admits, “Finally an educational use for Twitter?” Reflection also offers some tips to help you control the overwhelming information on Twitter.

Many speak of the tremendous collaboration they get with Twitter. In a discussion on Twitter, the TeachingSagittarian asked for help finding student blogs for his students to read and comment on. The discussion led to a team effort to create YoungWriters07, a wikispace that teachers can use to find blogs to recommend to their students.

The TeachingSagittarian also featured Twitter Flickr Learning, another example of how teachers and fellow bloggers can network and correspond on Twitter, showcasing how a Twitter conversation between Chris Betcher and Sue Waters, fellow Edubloggers, resulted in a joint article comparing flickr and Picassa. He also wrote about “High Speed Conferencing thanks to Twitter“, using Twitter to create a true “un-conference” weekend stuffed with learning about software, programs, and tools to help educators without leaving the comfort of home.

The EdTech Bach also admits that Twitter helps discover neat tools to use with the web browser and Twitter, opening up a whole avenue of recommended resources from those with the experience and familiarity you need.

Jabiz Raisdana, the Intrepid Teacher, is teaching in Qatar and thought that he would never run out of blogging steam. He did and in All a Twitter, shares how Twitter brought back the inspiration and motivation for blogging, where the muses never sleep.

When Russel of Wise Provocation hit Twitter with a rant on blocking practice after a frustrating day dealing with a school system that puts such energy and money into blocking online access to viable tools and services. His Twitter friends stepped in with insightful questions and support which helped him get a better handle on his mood and thoughts about the issue.

At the Edubloggercon in the United States last year, Graham Wegner learned about how many bloggers were using Twitter to pass on educational news.

Educators I Follow on Twitter by son-of-a-ditchdigger lists the author’s favorite educators and their Twitter addresses. The list is hard to read, but if you are a Twitter fan, you might check out the list to see which educators you might want to put into your Twitter list.

Many Edubloggers linked to 30 Days with Twitter by Bob Sprankle on Moving at the Speed of Creativity as the inspiration on how Twitter could help them in their personal and professional development. At the end, he points to Twitter in the Classroom from Web 2.0 Primer, which lists examples of how many are using Twitter for educational purposes.

In a bit of Twitter fun, PodPirate Island’s Brian Van Dyck offers the Twitter 12 Step Program called Twits Anonymous (TA).

More and more edubloggers are discovering the invaluable service Twitter provides to them, as a social network, but more importantly, as a valuable tool for learning, for them and their students.

How are you using Twitter in your professional development and classroom?

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