Controlling the tweets

TwitterLeonie Dyason , Teacher Librarian and e-Learning Coordinator at Mooroopna Secondary College, has kindly shared with us how she organises and uses her Twitter account as a personal learning network to provide her with optimal information and knowledge. Below is a few hours in the professional life of Leonie:

It’s January 26, 2011 and I am looking for some resources to wow the staff with in my February posts.  I want these resources to be Web2.0 tools, or great information sites.  So, while I work on the statistics for the Library annual report on my laptop, I have opend my email, TweetDeck, my igoogle page with Google reader open, and two spreadsheets – one called collection age report and the other the titles with their age.  I am easily distracted from statistics and TweetDeck is the best for that.

Posts on Twitter are short and to the point – you only have 140 characters & spaces to use to get your message across and include the URL.  [There were 140 characters and spaces used in the previous sentence.]  So, not a lot of time wasting is happening, and you can skip the ones about “snow outside” or “plane delayed”, etc.  So this is a brief outline of my next couple of hours.

HeyJudeOnline posts to  Twitter “Ten Years of Wikipedia Animated”.  Judy O’Connell is a Teacher-Librarian from Sydney, who seems to have shifted over to Charles Sturt University these holidays.  Her post is about an animation of Wikipedia’s growth over the last 10 years.  This post reinforces my thoughts on the power of wikis, and how this free encyclopedia is being used and written by many people – some experts, and some not – and for free.  Where has the last 10 years gone!  I follow Judy, and often get some great links from her.

Then up pops an email from the OZTL_Net community, from Jan Radford.  She is recommending an article on avatars from a journal called Science Nation.  It is a great article, just right for the science staff, and also a great link for the catalogue.  It might even suit the Physical Education faculty.  . This Avatar article then appeared as a re-tweet via my TweetDeck from someone I follow – Maryna Badenhors who loves integrating great ICT resources into classrooms. RT @utarlingtoninsl: Virtual Self – “Your avatar may be just a virtual identity, but it can affect you in the real world” .  The RTarticle is by Keith Eric Grant, Physicist and Science Writer who Tweets about science stuff, who also retweeted this link from Uni of Texas website  via a facebook page.  Who would have thought something so interesting could have such a collection of links to find the actual source. 

With TweetDeck I have a number of searches I use to track my interests.  These include topics being researched in the library and from my own interests, eg “education Web 2.0”, “Ultranet”, “Trending in Australia”, and I can delete and add these searches as needed.   I found what seems to be a Spanish link in “education Web 2.0” column, which recommends 25 web 2.0 sites useful in education.  It looks good and I decide to add this blog to my RSS reader.

TweeDeckJoyce Valenza is another Teacher-Librarian I follow.  She came out to Australia from the USA last year and I heard her talk at the MCG with SLAV.  She often has great material to read, and this article got re-tweeted a number of times over the afternoon.  She is very innovative and well worth following.

Then a news article from Google was posted.  “Google Apps just got smarter w/20+ new apps in Google Apps Marketplace’s new #EDU category:  #appsmarketplace” .  Keeping an eye on what google apps are available is not a waste of time.  Plenty here to experiment with and perhaps adopt.

Next great link was on how to show technology being used in the classroom.  This site has been developed as a Technology Integration Matrix showing how different technology can be integrated using lesson plans and videos of classrooms to demonstrate a competency.  It came in the Ultranet search column, and is a very easy, no travel  PD.  from Arizona K12 center, a professional development site for educators.

There was then a post stating that Helen Otway was “Listening to  Gary Stager in Elluminate”, which was a Classroom 2.0 broadcast.  When I listened to it later on a statement really stuck with me “good teaching is amplified with one to one computing, and the reverse is also true.”  Something to remember as schools progress towards more computers in our classrooms.

And while trying to get to this elluminate session – it was over I think, and I went back for the link to listen to at another time – a tweet from Will Richardson demanded everyone have a look at “Jan 25 Egypt” on twitter.  I follow Will – his blog is also great – and these tweets showed a riot happening in Egypt right then on my screen before I had seen it mentioned on the news.  It felt more like a movie than a real riot.  I checked the TV, and nothing, and it was not until the following morning that I saw  the photos and video I watched through Twitter.  Amazing stuff – a history teachers dream to see history happening.  The Tweets the following day stated that both Twitter and Facebook were being silenced in Egypt!

Then I used a post from Edublogs to add the best tweeters and bloggers winners from .  These references  added both searches as well as people to my Twitter account.

I find Twitter very useful in my role at Mooroopna as eLearning leader and Teacher-Librarian.  But remember TweetDeck makes a noise like a cricket as a new post arrives.  This can be annoying in the workplace – remember to mute when you need to.   A pop up summary of the new post will still occur, and no one knows what you are doing, and you don’t have to confess to being the naughty kid with the noisy cricket app on your phone!  Happy tweeting!

The information flying around in just a few hours is amazing! Thankyou, Leonie, for giving us the names of many great Twitter contacts to follow. This will help in creating and/or organising our own learning networks.

If you want to follow Leonie on twitter, her contact name is LeonieDyason.

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