Why Twitter is the perfect place to start a PLN

March 9, 2011

I began my journey into Twitterverse in July of 2009 as part of a graduate level course on Web2.0 applications.  At the time, I didn’t really want to join the ‘verse’ as it seemed rather stupid.  Why would anyone in their want to let anyone that cared to read know every detail of one’s life?

At the time, if I remember correctly, Twitter was really starting to heat up and the celebrities were using it to share every last detail about their daily lives (I am sure the publicist thumbs were dying from all of the tweeting).  But, the class I was taking required us to try it out and so I began learning the curve that comes with Twitter.  Initially, my tweets seemed very mundane, my second post ever was,

The library book I needed is being held for me. I was worried I was not going to have it in time for my class. All I have to say is woohoo

Who says “woohoo”?  Anyways, I soon found some people to follow and used Twitter more as a 1-to-1 communication tool.  At this point, I did not really enjoy Twitter.  I believe the reason I didn’t enjoy it was the fact that I was gaining anything of real substance.

At some point, I don’t really remember when, I discovered the brilliance of #hashtags.  The #hastag is a brilliant way of being able to add a context to the tweet.  By including #hashtags into a tweet, people could follow conversations on a particular topic.  My first #hashtag follow was #edchat.  I added the #edchat tag to a column in TweetDeck and began to watch the beauty of Twitter.

By following the #edchat #hashtag, I could see conversations between people and could add my own thoughts and opinions.

This is why Twitter is the perfect place to start a PLN.  I have open access to some amazing people sharing ideas in education and #edtech.  I am also able to follow leaders in the area of #abed and #abedtech.

As I continue to share more, ask more questions, and create relationships with individuals within Twitterverse, my knowledge, understanding, and connections continue to grow and grow.

I would suggest that all young teachers get on Twitter and begin to share ideas and get ideas.  I would love to see education classes connect on Twitter using their class codes / sections as #hashtags.  #UAEDSE373 (University of Alberta – Secondary Education 373 [social studies minor class]) students could converse, share ideas and develop an appreciation and understanding of the power of Twitter…for more than what @justinbieber is doing after his show tonight.

*P.S. I actually follow @justinbieber – sorry for throwing you under the bus.


  1. I am right with you, Dan. Twitter is a great place for teacher learning. I use it to follow some of the big names I’ve heard at convention or conferences. The only thing I don’t agree with is when you limit your suggestion to young teachers. You know there are some of us more experienced teachers can figure it out and benefit!

    • For sure, Noreen, veteran teachers can learn just as much as young teachers. My point was that young teachers can develop their PLN through Twitter and they should explore Twitter to see its benefit.

  2. […] Why Twitter is the perfect place to start a PLN […]

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