EDST499k – Reflection on Day 1

Day 1 exposed me to some brand new social networking technologies and also introduced me to some different uses of the technologies I was already somewhat familiar with. I also gained some insight into how to go about adding to my own PLN.

Coming into this course I have made use of some mainstream technologies such as Facebook and Wikipedia, and I have also developed a list of blogs that I follow as a part of my own information gathering strategies. I’ve never blogged myself so hopefully something at least marginally interesting will come out of this.

Perhaps the most interesting thing I learned today dealt with the potential power of Twitter. I have a relatively new Twitter account and to be honest I hadn’t really figured out the point of it until today. I mainly use it to get updates from sports writers that I follow and a few athletes that have way too much time on their hands (Chris Bosh, cough cough). I am looking forward to getting some more tips on building up my own PLN, especially on Twitter. Right now I have four followers and they are people I either know in real life or people I have been in fantasy sports leagues with (don’t ask). This is fine, but my big concern is the people that want to follow me. All of these people appear to be somewhat attractive young women encouraging me to direct my attention towards their lovely…websites. I don’t know what I have done to make these entrepreneurial young ladies want to follow me, but I will assume it is because I am a male with an internet connection and they have put two and two together in their own minds. Needless to say, I don’t think these followers will add a great deal to my PLN so hopefully I’ll be able to add some followers that will.

That’s all for now, time to sign off and start plugging away on a much less interesting masters activity: the lit review!


11 responses to “EDST499k – Reflection on Day 1

  1. Karen LaBonte

    One Twitter tool I’ve found useful is to DM @spam with the young lovely’s Twitter ID…. 😉

  2. Twitter has a lot of power and potential and it is all in how you use it. I have been able to connect with a lot of people locally that have many of the same interests as me. I actually owe my current employment to one of my good friends I made on Twitter. “May the force be with you”. ; )

  3. Yes, the young ladies are Twitter’s Penis-Enlargement Pills (or, perhaps, less vulgarly, deposed African royals seeking your banking information). Beginning with Twitter, in so far as finding people, begin with the people that you follow: who do they follow? (And so on, really…) These people are all related for some reason; maybe it has to do with you? Once you get going, begin following @MrTweet, who will generate a list of people mentioned by, Re-Tweeted, etc, by people you already follow. But that will come: find a managable number of people to follow (depending on your 3G plan…) and engage in conversation. Whether that be on Twitter, Wikipedia, Twitpic, Facebook, and especially your blog: create a presence. Followers will find their way out of the woodwork.
    Enjoy your week!

  4. I would be lost without my PLN. I have spent the last year finding and following the best educators I can find. Want proof that Twitter is powerful? Go to my blog and check out the Newbie project. It was supposed to be a one time thing, but is was so well received that I decided to do it again for ISTE in Denver. I am @bethstill on Twitter. I’d love to learn with you on there.

  5. Dan-
    Much like you, I had my Twitter account far before I had a real use for it. But, now, it is impossible for me to imagine my own personal and professional growth without it. Twitter gives you instant and continous access to the leading minds in almost ANY field, and the amount and quality of information is simply astounding. I am able to spend a matter of minutes reading posts from nationally and internationally acclaimed experts – and I get to know what THEY are reading and what THEY are using and how THEY interpret new research or stances on hot-button issues. Twitter has given me countless perspectives on just about everything I do as an educator. It’s hard to put a price on that, yet it is free. I think you will figure it out very quickly once you have traded Bosh for Will Richardson or Bill Simmons (guessing on that one) for Dean Shareski. Enjoy the ride!

  6. I have been using Twitter for about the past year now. I am a former K-12 music teacher, turned Technology Facilitator, who uses Twitter to meet people in education, and specifically educational technology. I have chosen to follow those in my PLN because of our “shared interests”. My suggestions for you are to actively seek new people to follow, to read what others are posting, and to share. I keep track of the websites I’ve found through Twitter in my delicious account with the hashtag of #fromtwitter. (http://www.delicious.com/chris.webb/fromtwitter)

  7. Twitter has an incredible potential to provide a wealth of information in a specific area of interest — especially, once you start to connect with folks who espouse interests akin to yours.

    A couple suggestions:
    1) read the ‘bio’ attached to a twitter user’s profile — that can give you a quick sense of their interests (grade level, geographic location, subject areas, etc.)
    2) take a look at their “tweets” (status updates) to see if they’re saying anything of interest to you.
    3) if they include a blog address on their page, consider reading a couple blog posts, again to determine if they have information that might be of interest.

    As for folks who may ‘follow you,” — you can use the same process to determine if they’re following you out of genuine interest, or if, as the folks above have identified, you’ve got a spammer.

    Welcome to the Twitterverse!


  8. too funny.

    i agree with bryan – focus on who you are following. i started with authors i liked. then follow who they follow.

    follow someone with similar interests – like your sports.

    you want to start blogging – follow some great bloggers.

    i thought twitter was silliness at first – but now that i’m starting to figure it out – i gain incredible insight daily. made some meaningful connections i would have never made without it.

    enjoy your class.
    learn tons.

  9. Hi Dan,

    I am not a lovely young lady trying to direct you to my “lovely website”. That’s not to say that I’m not a lovely person, but I am a member of your wonderful professor’s PLN. He directed me here through one of his tweets on Twitter.

    I hope you learned how to block “unwanted” followers. If not that should be your first question to Professor Couroso tomorrow. It is important to know how to get followers and it is just as important to know how to block the people you don’t want from following you.

    I got a follow from a skiing company yesterday because I used the word skiing in one of my tweets. I believe your professor had to spell out golf (g*o*l*f) because he kept getting follows from people in the golf industry. I mentioned chocolate in quite a few tweets with Sue Waters and that brought forth a great following by choclolate manufacturers. That can be the downside of Twitter. The upside greatly outweighs those few negative followers who crop up on occasion.

    What does my PLN mean to me:
    I can bounce ideas around and get some great feedback.
    I can ask questions and get almost immediate answers 24/7.
    I can collaborate with other teachers around the global.
    I can connect my students with other classrooms around the world.
    I can learn about the best resources.
    I can learn about the latest Web 2.0 tools.
    I can find out how to debug my computer.
    I can read the best articles and blogs.
    I can attend conferences virtually thanks to tweets and streaming.
    I can be informed of webinars that are happening.
    I can ask for help and get several volunteers.
    I can get to know people I’ve never met and build relationships.
    I can share a success or examine a failure with like-minded people.
    I can laugh, cry, and think with my online friends.

    Enjoy your class, build your PLN, and say hi to Alec for me.

  10. Twitter is my 7×24 coffee shop conversation with a diverse and dispersed group of friends – transcending time and space! I’ve found it perfectly fits my learning and relationship style because of its interactive nature.

    But what you put into it is what you’ll get out of it too! Like the coffee shop group, if you sit back and say nothing, you’ll learn a few things, get a few tips and go largely unnoticed… On the other hand, if you ask some questions, offer your perspective and share your thoughts/ideas/resources/etc…, you’ll get so much more!!

    One of my favorite experiences with Twitter was when a teacher in California heard one of Obama’s speeches, where he said parents had to be held accountable for improving schools, along side teachers and administrators. This teacher tweeted a question: How the heck do you hold parents accountable? Within a few minutes, I was in an amazing, mind stretching conversation with this teacher in California, a brain researcher in New York, an administrator in Australia, and another teacher in Alaska. It was a twenty minute conversation, we all learned, and then we went back to our work.

    That doesn’t happen every day, but I’ve found myself in these kinds of intense, learning conversations more and more often.

    Like Bryan said above – find a few great people to follow (like Alec!), check out who they’re following (read their profiles, check out a few of their tweets), look for people interested in the same things as you (search keywords), and then diversify your community (add some other interests, or groups of people). Don’t forget to jump into conversations, ask questions, share your resources. And don’t be discouraged if people don’t always engage right away – sometimes you won’t get responses! It happens – try again later!

    Can you tell I love my PLN?? And the conversations I participate in on Twitter??

    Enjoy learning with Alec!
    Heidi (@HHG)

  11. Imagine when you were a child having your teacher pass you notes in class about what she enjoyed learning about & even what was going on in her life. Imagine getting to know her as a whole person & learning as you see what made her learn and as you shared back with her and found different things you wanted to explore. Then getting notes from others who were interested in THAT thing. And so on. That’s what Twitter is to me. Not to make money or get famous but to literally share a piece of my mind with others & have them share back. And to realize there’s learning & growth…as well as fun…along the way.

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