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Building a Professional Learning Network Using Twitter

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Building a Professional Learning Network Using Twitter

  1. 1. Building a Professional Learning Network (PLN) Using Twitter
  2. 2. I am Spencer Burton and I am here to guide us in our exploration of building a PLN on Twitter. Let’s continue to learn together after our workshop on Twitter: @spencerburton Hello, tweeters!
  3. 3. Land Acknowledgement The schools in the Waterloo Catholic District School Board are situated on the Haldimand Tract of land that is the traditional home of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe and Neutral People. We acknowledge the enduring presence and deep traditional knowledge, laws and philosophies of the Indigenous Peoples with whom we share this land today. We seek a new relationship with the Original People of this land, one based on honour and deep respect. We are grateful for the opportunity to learn here and reaffirm our collective commitment to make the promise and the challenge of Truth and Reconciliation real in our community.
  4. 4. Today, we will be exploring how to use Twitter as a tool to collaborate with and learn from other educators, both locally and globally!
  5. 5. I know I will be successful when I… ★ Understand the importance of building a Professional Learning Network (PLN) ★ Create and effectively use a Twitter account as a platform for my PLN ★ Engage with other education professionals to launch my PLN ★ Develop 21st-century competencies using technology as a professional tool Here are some learning goals that will help to guide our workshop:
  6. 6. PLNs 1 What is it and how do we build one? Twitter 2 What is it and how does it work? Building a PLN 3 Let’s use Twitter to create a PLN! Connections 4 How does a Twitter PLN connect to our professional development (i.e., 21st century skills, SAMR model)? Conclusion 5 Wrapping all of today’s learning together! Survey 6 Let your voice be heard! Workshop Agenda
  7. 7. Building a Professional Learning Network (PLN) 1
  8. 8. Learning Goal: By the end of this section, I will be able to define “PLN” and explain why it is important for our professional development as lifelong learners.
  9. 9. Let’s start off with a quick discussion question: What do you think of when you hear “professional learning network”?
  10. 10. What is a PLN?
  11. 11. What are some Professional Learning Networks that you may be already a part of?
  12. 12. PLNs help to foster collaboration among educators. True or False? PLNs are a great platform to collaborate with others, share experiences, and give/receive support and feedback!
  13. 13. You need to be a computer genius to be able to create a digital PLN. True or False? Creating and using a digital PLN is a skill that can (and should) be learned by everyone!
  14. 14. PLNs provide access to a wealth of information and resources. True or False? PLNs are a great way to stay up-to- date on best practices and lesson ideas, thanks to the many educators who are willing to share!
  15. 15. PLNs are a waste of time. True or False? PLNs allow you to connect with other educators and access information instantly. The access to collaborators and resources could actually be seen as invaluable!
  16. 16. ● Began curating my PLN when I first applied to my Bachelor of Education in 2014 ● Knew there was much to learn from others ● Wanted a place to share my own thoughts and reflections ● A place to store my successful activities (pictures, etc.) to refer back to in future years My Experience with PLNs
  17. 17. But wait… There are many ways and platforms to create a Professional Learning Network. Let’s explore where I chose to create my PLN!
  18. 18. Exploring Twitter 2
  19. 19. Learning Goal: By the end of this section, I will be able to understand Twitter as a social media platform and explain how it can be used to create a PLN.
  20. 20. What is this “Twitter” thing you speak of?
  21. 21. Let’s watch a quick video to see some screenshots of tweets you may see! There are many different tweets that you will see on Twitter, each with its own purpose for being sent!
  22. 22. Let’s take a closer look at the various parts of a tweet.
  23. 23. Discuss with your group: What are some ways that you believe Twitter could be used as a platform for a Professional Learning Network?
  24. 24. How Can Twitter Be Used Effectively in Education?
  25. 25. Strategies for Growing PLN Here are 5 go-to strategies to help you find and follow relevant educators and organizations: Search Hashtags Follow Accounts Engage with Others Twitter Chats Share Your Content
  26. 26. Search Hashtags ● Hashtags are a great way to find tweets and accounts related to your interests ● Try searching for hashtags related to education, your subject area, or specific events ● You can also use hashtags to participate in online discussions and to connect with other educators ● Suggestions: #WCDSBinnovate, #WCDSBawesome, #edchat, #edtech
  27. 27. Follow Accounts ● Once you have found some hashtags related to your interests, start following the accounts that are using them ● This will allow you to see their tweets in your timeline and start building your professional learning network ● Suggestions: @spencerburton, @WCDSBnewswire, @edutopia
  28. 28. Engage With Others ● One of the best ways to connect with other educators on Twitter is to engage with their tweets ● This can include retweeting, commenting, or asking questions ● By doing so, you can start a conversation and build relationships with other educators
  29. 29. Twitter Chats ● Twitter chats are online discussions that take place at a specific time and are organized around a specific hashtag ● They provide a great opportunity to connect with other educators and to learn from each other ● I helped to facilitate the #ONedchat between 2016-2019! ● Suggestions: #EdTechChat Mondays 8PM, #LeadLAP Mondays 9PM, #TeachPos Sundays at 7:30pm
  30. 30. Share Your Content ● Sharing your own content on Twitter is a great way to build your Professional Learning Network ● This can include blog posts, articles, or resources that you have found useful, or posting pictures of your lessons in action! ● By sharing your own content, you can start a conversation and connect with other educators who are interested in the same topics ● Don’t forget to include hashtags in your tweets so other educators can find and be inspired by your content!
  31. 31. Let’s look at an example that George Couros, a Canadian educational leader, uses in his book The Innovator’s Mindset to show the effectiveness of a PLN using Twitter.
  32. 32. What can we learn from this reading? Twitter is a platform that allows us to easily connect with educators, both locally and across the globe, in a matter of seconds. Even when we log on with the purpose of looking for something specific (e.g., searching #scichat for mitosis lesson ideas), we can be inspired in ways we weren’t even searching for. This is the power of a PLN using Twitter!
  33. 33. Break Time! When we return, we’ll build our PLNs using Twitter!
  34. 34. Building a PLN 3
  35. 35. Learning Goal: By the end of this section, I will be able to create a Twitter account and use it to build a Professional Learning Network.
  36. 36. We will be using this time to beginning building a Professional Learning Network using Twitter. First, we will create a Twitter account. If you already have an account, you can use this time to update your existing account. Then, you will have some time to build and explore your PLN, gaining some practical, hands-on experience with Twitter. Let’s get tweeting!
  37. 37. Step #1 Create a Twitter Account
  38. 38. Step #2 Follow 5+ Twitter Accounts
  39. 39. Step #3 Post 1 Tweet of Your Own
  40. 40. Step #4 Respond To Someone Else’s Tweet
  41. 41. Step #5 Retweet 1 Tweet You Find Interesting/Useful
  42. 42. Discuss with your group: What are your initial thoughts and feelings about using Twitter to connect with other educators and building a digital PLN?
  43. 43. Break Time! When we return, we’ll reflect on today’s learning!
  44. 44. Connections 4
  45. 45. Learning Goal: By the end of this section, I will be able to understand how using Twitter connects to 21st Century Competencies, Board guidelines, and the SAMR model.
  46. 46. Discuss with your group: How do the 21st Century Competencies on the following slide align with building a Professional Learning Network using Twitter?
  47. 47. Communication and Collaboration By participating in a professional learning network on Twitter, teachers can communicate and collaborate with other educators and educational organizations to share best practices, resources, and ideas.
  48. 48. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Twitter provides teachers with a wealth of information and resources, which requires them to exercise their critical thinking and problem- solving skills to evaluate the quality and relevance of that information.
  49. 49. Citizenship Twitter provides teachers with opportunities to develop their digital literacy skills by using social media platforms, hashtags, mentions, and other features to connect with a global audience of educators.
  50. 50. Creativity Twitter can provide teachers with opportunities to engage with new and innovative ideas and strategies for teaching and learning, which can encourage creative thinking and innovation.
  51. 51. Board’s Responsible Use of Technology ● Remember that, with any use of technology for professional purposes, we must refrain from the following: ○ Posting student work, photographs and/or video images on any public website without prior written consent from the student’s parent or guardian, except where noted in the Student Personal Information Collection / Use / Disclosure Notice (APC023-AX: Appendix A). ○ Posting student’s personal information such as birthdays, class lists, marks and demographic information. ○ Using the internet or email accounts in a manner that is not consistent with the mission of WCDSB, misrepresents WCDSB, or violates any of WCDSB’s policies and procedures.
  52. 52. Discuss with your group: What stage of the SAMR Model for Technology Integration does using Twitter to create a PLN fall within?
  53. 53. Conclusion 5
  54. 54. Time to reflect on today’s learning!
  55. 55. Takeaways from Today’s Workshop A PLN is a network of educators that share knowledge and resource to grow as professionals. Twitter is a social media platform that can be used to connect with educators from around the globe. Using technology can help us develop 21st century competencies, which will also help us to teach our students these skills. Technology is a great tool, but we must remember to use it responsibly. Tweeting, retweeting, searching hashtags, and following are effective ways to build and engage with your PLN.
  56. 56. Final Thoughts and Questions?
  57. 57. Survey 6
  58. 58. Post-Workshop Survey Please take a few moments now, or at another convenient time today, to complete the post-workshop survey. This will be beneficial in helping me develop future workshops and facilitate deeper learning experiences!
  59. 59. Post-Workshop Survey 1. On a scale of 1-5, how effective was the workshop in meeting its objectives? 2. What did you like best about the workshop? 3. What could have been improved? 4. How do you plan to use Twitter to support your professional learning and growth? 5. Are there any additional resources or support you would like to receive in the future?
  60. 60. CREDITS: This presentation template was created by Slidesgo, including icons by Flaticon, and infographics & images by Freepik Thanks! Let’s continue to learn together! Join my PLN!

Editor's Notes

  • Video Source: Common Sense Education -
  • Source:
  • Source:
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  • Image Source:
  • Video Source: The Social Clinic -
  • Video Source: Ditch That Textbook -
  • Image Source:
  • Instructor: Ask teachers to first discuss at their table groups for a few minutes, then discuss as a large group. Instructor can sort the different ideas under “Technology-Based” or “Unplugged” to reinforce these categories.
  • Video Source: Teaching and Learning in South Austrialia via Alec Couros -
  • Facilitator: Split group into 5 teams: The Coders, The Programmers, The Debuggers, The Makers, The Hackers (or staff groups decide on their own coding team names)
  • Book Source: George Couros, The Innovator’s Mindset. Pages 45, 46, 53.
  • Image Source:
  • Text Source: WCDSB APS017 -
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  • Facilitator: Review responses as a whole group after the 5 rotations.
  • Facilitator: Prompt groups to rotate every 3 minutes or so. Review responses as a whole group after the 5 rotations.
  • Facilitator: Prompt teachers to:
    1) Identify moments of each skill throughout their exploration today
    2) Discuss cross-curricular areas in which these skills could be used