Personal Learning Networks (PLN) 101: Twitter

So, you’ve heard that personal learning networks (PLN) are a good thing.

But, what are they?

How do they work?

How do I join one?

All good questions. If you are just getting started then you have identified some common questions and seem ready to begin.

Let’s start with one little social networking site. Twitter.


Twitter is an amazing tool. Used properly you have and endless stream of fantastic, free professional development and opportunities for networking streamed to you.

A friend tweeted the link to this leadership piece. I opened it. Read it. Sent it to someone else. Now I will follow this guy and benefit from his thoughts and shared thoughts of others he “retweets” (sends on) in the future. I have taken it a little further by now linking his article into this blog post. He will be notified of this “ping back” and may check out my blog, comment on it, follow me on Twitter or retweet this to promote himself, simultaneously promoting me. Either way…

I have learned, shared and made connections to other educators. This is what PLN are all about.

The scary thing is that it NEVER STOPS COMING! Neither does my own demise but I don’t keep this happy little fact at the front of my thoughts. Having it there, however, I can turn on the faucet to check in when I feel the need.

More food for thought had by considering:

  • LinkedIn
  • Starting a blog to share
  • Commenting on other people’s blogs (start relationships while you learn)

It’s easy to get started. Once you have a few people who seem inclined to tweet on topics you are interested in:

  • Check out who they are following
  • Follow them too

People who you follow are likely to follow you. I went nuts one day and spent some time doing this. I added likely 200 people to my “follow” list and about 80 returned the favor, doubling my followers.

I then tweeted a blog post, a YouTube link promoting my ICT Integration site, and the link to the site and had my best “hits” day for some time as a result of my new audience.

If you found this post helpful, you have an obligation to “retweet” (RT) it to your followers to help them out. (Alright maybe an obligation is overstating it but it is a good idea.)

Know all this stuff already? GO HERE for a free eBook: Deepen Your Digital Footprint; A Beginner to Intermediate Guide to Increasing Online Traffic & Presence.

Hey, check out my twitter feed RIGHT HERE ON THIS VERY PAGE. And follow me. I want to learn from you.

Check out my mentionmapp

About Sean Thompson

Sean is an educational technology specialist at Sacred Heart International School in Tokyo. He travels extensively across southeast Asia speaking, presenting and participating in discussions regarding the effective integration of technology in an educational setting. In 2014 he partnered up with DEEP Learning to support the team with the development, promotion and execution of professional development conferences for teachers worldwide. Sean is also an Apple Distinguished Educator, an International Baccalaureate Educator Network Workshop Leader , a Google education Trainer and a Certified Google Educator available for professional development at your school.
This entry was posted in Collaboration, Digital Learning, Literacy, New Media, Producing, Publishing, Sharing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Personal Learning Networks (PLN) 101: Twitter

  1. Zoe Page says:

    I was so skeptical about Twitter, but I have gotten so much from it. I have gone to conferences and found myself with loads of people I know in a virtual context. I have been able to ask for help and be given help in return. So Kyoto is no distance to… let’s keep learning together.

    • Sean says:

      Done! Keep in touch.

    • Sean says:

      Thanks Zoe,
      I would like that. My earliest blog posts used to refer to “stupid Twitter” but, having started to feel I was getting it, I knocked off this post in the hopes it might encourage someone else out there just getting started.
      I’ll be seeing you around the “Twitter fire.”
      Keep doing great things.

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  3. Wow…the Tweetmap. I have to learn this concept more. Great article. Thanks Sean.

    • Thank you for reading and taking the time to respond! I’m just now finding alot of these (sorry for the HUGE lag)

      • Monica Jordan says:

        Hi Sean,
        I am a DBA student at Walden University. Your twitter was cited and I am glad I followed because I learned a lot from your article. I see how I can learn to expand my learning community by having a blog or posing question and also joining other Bloggers.
        Thank for sharing!

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  7. Lazarus Zim says:

    Fantastic!!! The Walden DBA program is an exiting journey!!

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