The Power of the Personal Learning Network: Twitter

While much debate continues as to whether Twitter is something useful or a waste of time, I have found Twitter to be invaluable part of my personal learning network.  I have gleaned so many ideas in the last year from fellow librarian Tweeps as well as non-librarian Tweeps that have enriched my life and truly helped my professional growth.

I’d like to share a prime example of how my Twitter PLN has been a major help to me in the last 24 hours.  Yesterday afternoon at 1: 11 PM EST, I Tweeted,

Looking for works of fic./nonfic to teens about issues in Africa today—genocide, AIDS, envt., women, etc. Suggestions for lit circles?”

as I was trying to build a novel list for literature circles that will piggyback on my Media 21 Capstone project for 2009-10. Because this part of the project didn’t evolve until yesterday as my collaborating teacher and I conversed via email, I needed a potential list of fiction and nonfiction books quickly to make my capstone project deadlines this week. Within minutes, I began receiving responses! Twitter friends http://twitter.com/librareanne, http://twitter.com/dimac4, http://twitter.com/pgoerner, http://twitter.com/MaryKayG, and http://twitter.com/Hels55 came to my aid and began sharing recommendations and resource lists.

twitter1

By this morning, I had an amazing body of suggestions that absolutely astounded my collaborating teacher, Ms. Susan Lester. She said, “How on earth did you get all these fabulous book suggestions so fast?” Of course, I extolled the virtues of Twitter!

So for those of you who think Twitter is pure fluff, I ask you to reconsider. I could have never developed the menu of books for our project without the wisdom and expertise of my Twitter PLN! I would like to thank everyone who so graciously and generously offered their assistance—thank you for the instrumental role you have played in helping me add another dimension to my Media 21 Capstone Project that we hope to pilot in August 09!


5 comments

  1. As an MLIS student, I have found Twitter to be a tremendous educational resource. I follow several wonderful librarians/libraries and the tweets and links they share have widened my knowledge base immensely.

    The collective knowledge of everyone on twitter is invaluable!

  2. But how do you use it at work? It’s blocked in my district and my phone won’t get a signal in the building. I know there are probably hacks around the district blocking, but I don’t want to go there.

    I use Twitter (MUCH better than facebk) but only for a small group of friends/fellow bloggers and can only check it at home in the evenings.

    Sigh.

  3. Hi! It is not blocked in my district—I use Twhirl and Tweetdeck through the day. Maybe if you showed some educational apps to the powers that be then your district would unblock? I am so sorry you can’t access it by day. :-(

    I love both Twitter and Facebook—both are fun and instrumental pieces of my PLN!

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