When a moderator enters the room for an online session, there is always a feeling of anticipation, nervousness (in case no-one else turns up except for the presenter), and an element excitement not knowing the outcomes.
This week was a ‘You, me and us” session where the participants would share conversations around one of my favourite social networking tools – twitter. I try to ensure that some slides are thrown together for discussion, should the audience be small in number, lacking in questions and ideas etc. However, this time I was really under prepared and thought I would throw some slides together ‘on the fly’. Logging on later than usual, I discovered that Zorge, from Mongolia was already in the room. He was from Mongolia and wanted to converse with me in English. That was the start of my disrupted learning for this session. Intrigued we shared conversations. He is keen to use elluminate to share conversational English and has already set up his own site “Let’s talk in English This site is designed for English language communication. It has more than 1800 people from 103 countriesAn ice breaker had to be quickly thought up, so participants were asked to share on the whiteboard “What can you see outside your window?” As the session started, I was relieved to see Peggy George (one of the Classroom20LIVE moderators) in the room and to my delight watched my co-organiser/moderator of eT@lking, CaroleMcCulloch enter.
Participants were asked to add the questions that they would like answered re twitter on to the whiteboard and we decided to start with the ‘beginners’ questions and work our way through. A poll quickly demonstrated that one third of our audience were not on twitter. There was an amazing array of questions added. Application sharing was used to good effect to show exactly how, what, where etc things could be done. As this was taking place, I tweeted out for people to respond by stating where they were from and what they could see out of their window. This would share the power of this learning network and allow possible classroom applications to be discussed.
The icebreaker: What can you see outside your window? Participants quickly added to the whiteboard what they could see. This included:-
- Why twitter?
- How to find people to follow?
- Personal profile – its importance and how to change it
- Netiquette on twitter
- Who should you follow on twitter
- How many should you follow!
- Sharing our twitter handles (ids) and the names of at least one recommended person to follow.
- Tweetdeck as an application for twitter
- How to use it for exploratory learning?
From the whiteboard:-
- Be selective in your language – no swearing!
- No profanity or insulting language –some words can offend others
- Dont tweet if you wouldn’t say it face to face
- Always reply to messages
- Be a responsible digital citizen
- Share things
- Tweet only relevant content – no noise!
- Answer people who speak to you
- Post the kind of things you would like to hear about/learn about
- Be nice
- Links to good sites you may menation – use shortened urls (eg bitly or tinyurl)
- Start by giving/sharing rather than asking for something
- Nice to thank people for following you
- Credit retweets with RT
- Avoid flaming comments or personal jibes
- Always preface a DM with the @name of your recipient
- After hearing about how things on social networks are arcived forever, I try to be selective
Recommended number to follow initially – there was no consensus but suggestions ranged from 10 – 20/25 to less than 100
From the chat:-
- The recent online weekend conference “The Education Reform Symposium” #rscon10 Schedule for conference and Meet the Presenters
- the bio in twitter, is essential!! if people don’t have a bio I won’t follow them
- twilk produces a background image for your personal profile and is made up of all the people you follow in twitter.
- A direct message is a message that only you and your recipient see, its not publicly displayed in twitter.
- Follow @MrTweet to find people to follow
- Twitter search directories:- twellow or wefollow
- Chris Lehmann-fantastic principal of Science Leadership Academy chrislehmann
- I love setting up columns in Tweetdeck to follow the tweets from a conference or workshop
- @coach_carole): Thought: we no longer need to bury our arhived social items in time capsules underground, we have TWITTER 🙂
- sometimes thank you are valuable as retweets so others can learn about it in your own PLN
- a more specific question is helpful–not just a general question like what are some good education books to read?
- the hashtag for the conference this past weekend was #rscon10. f you search for that conference hashtag you’ll see tons of links and resources shared during the conference
- use twitter as a search engine
- I love following #edapp for great recommendations for iphone/itouch apps from educators
- Discussion on tweetdeck- yes search with the plus
- Tweet went out, seeking what people could see outside their window. Comment: that’s such a great question to ask people on twitter!! you could generate some really good creative writing with these descriptive words!!
- it would be fun to create a wordle with all of these responses 🙂
- Why use twitter? – Twitter is essential element in my personal learning network, learning about new resources from other educators
- Twitter for beginners’ course with Kim Caise and recording
- Tweetdeck tutorial
- Interesting ways to use twitter (Tom Barrett’s google doc)
- Love letter
Participants included the following: online teachers, student teachers, ed tech specialists, retired educationalists:-
- USA, including two students from Missouri, currently enrolled in a local university working towards our Master’s Degree in Education
- Montevideo, Uruaguay, Sth America