Friday, June 5, 2009

Shifting Landscapes of Professional Learning, Part 2

This is a second post in a series in preparation for a "paper jam" session at the CeLC conference. We're asking the questions:
  • How has your professional learning landscape shifted?
  • What are the implications?
Twitter is the application that comes to mind most often at the mention of microblogging. Most people don't start out understanding why or how they will use twitter, as illustrated in the Twitter Life Cycle by CogDog. And usually it takes a nudge or two from peers to get started. My first tweet was this:

"Attending George Siemen's PLE workshop at the CADE conference" 2:52 PM May 12th, 2007

However, I created the twitter account some time before that after hearing Nancy White and Beth Kanter talk about it during a teleconference call. But I think I must have just created the account and stared at it wondering...what the heck?

I wasn't alone in questioning the value of twitter. In fact, when I did a Google search to see how many people were trying to explain whether or not they're interested in hearing what their friends had for lunch, I got 43,800,000 results! :-)

I don't think I've ever shared my lunch order with my friends, but I'm sure I've bored them with all sorts of other details. And likewise, I've spent way too much time reading completely mundane (albeit condensed!) thoughts as they pass through my twitter feed.

Am I wasting my time? Should my employer be concerned? I don't think so. I've gotten to really KNOW these people in my network, and I've learned so much by being connected to them. This Twitter Sheep word cloud generated from the bios of the people I follow clearly shows that these 140 character exchanges are with people who share interests in learning, education, communities, technology...well, you get the picture.

I've kept the size of my network fairly manageable, but I'm willing to let it grow gradually, and I'm always interested in following people I've never met. And here they are! These are the people I learn from every day:

Get your twitter mosaic here.

No comments:

Post a Comment