Growing your Personal Learning Network with Twitter

I finally get it! At first, I thought twitter was ridiculous; a technology so people could tell others what they had for breakfast or some other triviality. But recently I discovered the amazing power of networking and personal learning with twitter. Ironically, I was in a twitter session by Kathy Schrock at the North Carolina Technology in Education Conference (#NCTIES) when the power of twitter was revealed to me in an unexpected way. With laptop open and signed in to my scarcely used twitter account, I began receiving a flood of tweets from all across the conference. I was getting the best information from rooms across the Raleigh Convention Center in short tweets, usually with links to some great new ed tech resources. I was amazed and could barely keep up with the barrage of info that was pouring right into my very lap. I finally recognized twitter's remarkable ability to build a Personal Learning Network (PLN).

The folks at NCTIES and I are still sharing instructional technology websites, links, blogs, and information that will be useful to me in my work and hopefully to them! Always give as much as you take I was told. When the conference was over, one of my new contacts, or one of their contacts, or one of their contacts (ad infinitum), attended a technology conference in another state and it started all over again(#macul10). My PLN is growing exponentially and I am receiving tweets from that conference too. I can't wait to "follow" the next person to another conference!

So here's how to get started. After you have signed up for your free twitter account at, you can begin searching for individuals to be part of you PLN. You may search for individuals or groups in the search bar. Groups may use a hashtag (#) to create an area for all posts to be threaded together on a particular topic. For example, the NCTIES conference thread may be found by entering #NCTIES in the search bar. If you are an educator, think about the implications. This feature could be used for classroom discussions or to engage other teachers in a conversation. To learn about how to use twitter in education visit

So it doesn't matter where you live or work. Let the power of twitter keep you connected and begin creating your Personal Learning Network today. You can start by following me at