Sunday, August 26, 2012

Twitter, the Exponent of Learning

Twitter has been the most mind blowing learning experience I've ever had. If I compare it to my previous experience of traditional PD, which has been great by the way, there are some vast differences. Here are some reasons why you should consider using Twitter to enhance your current PD.


Traditional PD requires you to be there for at least a day, and that would be great if you had nothing else to do. I thoroughly enjoy going to workshops. Some of the greatest ideas I ever received came from a workshop, but I typically attend one or two a month.  There's not enough time to attend traditional PD. Twitter exponentially increases the frequency of PD because I can learn any time of day for short or long periods of time.


Going to a workshop takes time, and you have to dress up. You have to drive there, and you are sometimes limited to the ideas from your region. On Twitter, I get ideas from California to China and all points in between. Seriously, I do. Cutting edge ideas are found in links, blogs, videos, chats and tweets from around the world, and it is overwhelmingly awesome to learn from people around the world.  Most importantly my geography is unimportant because I can learn from the comfort of my couch or anywhere that I am.


This is the most amazing part of Twitter. At workshops, you have little time to network with the people you come in contact with. On Twitter, you find new contacts and they are experts in specific areas. Teachers, principals, lead teachers and central office staff come together to share their experience as well as gain new ideas from others, but what's great is that everyone forgets about the hierarchy of their position. How utopian is that? Tweeps organize themselves into chats and lists based on where each Tweep is interested in growing in their own learning.

Ideas flourish and interests change based on the needs that each person has each day. Learning is personalized daily because everyone is part of a PLN (Personalized Learning Network). This is what PD should be all about.

Twitter and Traditional PD

Twitter does have its limitations in that traditional PD can take learning much more in-depth on broader topics.  The simple fact is you just can't replace a face to face PD. I always leave a traditional PD inspired and motivated to do an even better job. Twitter's role is to solidify my thinking in between the traditional PD opportunities as well as connect with other educators on issues that I currently face. I need both to be the best educator that I can be. Twitter exponentially improves my learning, but coupled with traditional PD it goes even further.

Special thanks to members of my PLN for playing a part in this post and taking my learning to a newer and higher level: @Cowpernicus, @DCulberhouse, @Mandery, @ChrisStogdill


  1. I couldn't agree more John! Twitter needs to become part of every teacher's PLN - the connection to resources, perspectives and collaboration really is outstanding. I have been working lots with pre-service teachers over the past year, helping them to develop a network of professionals via Twitter before they ever step into their first classroom. Hopefully starting early will provide a valuable professional network that can be fostered and nurtured as they grow as a teacher. Some of those thoughts/resources can be found at Thanks again for the post John!

  2. Thanks for feedback, Kurt. Twitter enhances everyone's knowledge if they will go beyond the superficial uses of social media. Great learning takes place whenever I'm ready. Thanks again.

  3. Feelings are all mutual John. Many thanks right back at ya. I am sure we have further collaboration in the future. I am interested in hearing about how the Evernote session went. I am going to link my post to this one if that is okay....I am trying to do this more often.

  4. Feel free to reference me. I had to postpone my EN to session to next week. I'll share my thoughts in future posts. Be sure to let me know about your posts and I'll share as well. BTW I like the YouTube videos of you talking to parents. I'm looking at doing that once every 2-3 weeks. Thanks again for the support.