#FollowFriday: Build your PLN

As we move into learning about creating our online presence on Twitter, let’s take some time to see who other educators are recommending as great people to follow as you build your Professional Learning Network (PLN).

Below are some examples of Ontario Educator Twitter Profiles.

What might you want to include in your profile?

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Educators A-Z of Twitter

As we move into our last week, let’s start thinking about the mechanics of Twitter.

Here is a great infographic from #ukedchat that you can refer to as you need to.  Try to spend some time learning about Twitter norms. Thanks to Stacey Wallwin for sharing this on Twitter yesterday.

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Educators A-Z of Twitter | Piktochart Infographic Editor

Source: Educators A-Z of Twitter | Piktochart Infographic Editor

Designing Your Twitter Feed Part 2: Hashtags

At this point, we hope you have had the opportunity to:

  • search Twitter anonymously for topics, hashtags, dates, individuals
  • create your own Twitter account and profile
  • follow others who have similar professional interests
  • follow others who will provide you with rich learning

Please see the list of posts on the right side of this page, or scroll down for the posts if you need to update any of your learning.

Today we are looking at the power of following hashtags on Twitter, a skill that is becoming more important across a number of different social media.

Hashtags allow you to take part in conversations, aggregate groups, follow learning at conferences, follow topics that interest you, and follow/participate in live chats that interest you.

Twitter explains hashtags here if the concept is new to you.

For new Twitter users, #ff or #followfriday is one of the best hashtags to watch for.  Each Friday, Twitter users use this hashtags to suggest people to follow.  This will help you build your online PLN.

From Tom Whitby: My Island View
From Tom Whitby: My Island View

If you are in Ontario, watch for the work done by Doug Peterson.

Click on the image for more explanation of #followfriday #ff
Click on the image for more explanation of #followfriday #ff

You can search for #ff or #followfriday on any day.


Suggested Learning Activities

  1. Together, we have been building a list of favourite hashtags here. Please continue to share hashtags you find that are of interest to you professionally.
  2. Ask your colleagues about the hashtags they follow, or the hashtags being used at learning events that they are attending.  What can you learn by following the hashtag?
  3. For our courses, we use the #OSSEMOOC hashtag.  Are you ready to share a favourite resource or link from your account using this hashtag? Next week we are learning about the anatomy of a Twitter Tweet, so if you feel that you need more support before Tweeting – that is coming!



Designing Your Twitter Feed

Congratulations on creating your Twitter account.  Remember that your profile is what others see as your online identity.  How will they know your interests and your passions?  How will others know what you like to share?  Allow your profile to change with you.  By keeping it up to date, you will find it easier to connect with others who you want to learn from and share resources with.

Today we are thinking about how best to build our Twitter feed – the tweets that arrive on our home page.

We have already shared Tom Whitby’s well-written, concise guide to building a rich PLN through Twitter here.

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from Tom Whitby: My Island View https://tomwhitby.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/whom-should-i-follow-on-twitter/

How can you quickly get value in your Twitter feed?  Follow people who will share the things you want to learn about.

We can do this through lists.

It’s helpful to take some time over the next few days to follow some people and look at their lists.  What lists interest you? Who on the list will contribute to your learning?

Taking the time to build your Twitter feed will help to ensure that you are getting the best professional learning possible on Twitter.

Creating an Account on Twitter

Today, we are beginning to use Twitter with our own account.

What do we need to think about when creating our online profile?  Luckily, Doug Peterson has already thought about it, and he has shared his thinking with us!

More Than Fixing The Egg

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As well, Tom Whitby has shared on his blog a very simple look at what is important for educators in starting to learn through Twitter.

Thank you to these wonderful educators for making their thinking visible and helping us to learn from their experience.

Last November, OSSEMOOC created some resources to help you learn to sign up for Twitter.  Using this as a guide, please take a few minutes to get your own Twitter account.

Enjoy some further profiles as suggested by @dougpete. What can you learn from these models?

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Thinking About Creating Our Profile on Twitter

Today we are reflecting on what we have found by using the simple and advanced Twitter searches, and we are thinking about what we might want our profiles to look like as we create accounts in the future.

Here is a fabulous new resource to help push this thinking – another thoughtful blog post from Tom Whitby: Who Should I Follow on Twitter?  This is a beautiful simplification on what is important when learning to use Twitter professionally.  We highly recommend that you read this as you move forward in your work with Twitter.

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From Tom Whitby: My Island View Whom Should I Follow on Twitter? https://tomwhitby.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/whom-should-i-follow-on-twitter/


Over the next few weeks, consider the following reflective questions:
1) What  have you learned so far from your Twitter searches?
2) Where is the value to educators in being competent  (or excelling in) the use of social media?
3) What is the best way for educators to learn about social media?

4) What are your goals when it comes to using social media in your professional life?

Thanks for learning with us!

Using Twitter Anonymously: The Advanced Search

Yesterday we had the opportunity to look at how we can access Twitter anonymously and search for tweets that might interest us, using hashtags or simple searches.  This is very helpful, for example, if you want to follow the learning from a particular conference or learning event.

As you might suspect, the Twitter Search can be much more functional and complex.

By choosing “Advanced Search”, you can really tweak the kind of information you gather on Twitter.

This screencast demonstrates the advanced search for you.

Try a few searches of your own.

1) Do you have a favourite researcher or education leader? Can you find their Twitter handle (account) and search it for what they are tweeting? Some suggestions are Dr. Simon Breakspear, Dr. Andy Hargreaves, Dr. Michael Fullan, Dr. Alec Couros, Dean Shareski, Tanya Avrith, George Couros, Ira Socol, Dr. Tony Wagner, Bill Ferriter, etc.

2) Can you think of a favourite conference that you weren’t able to attend? Can you search for the learning that happened there?

3) What international event can you follow on Twitter based on the location or timing of the event?

Next week we will explore how creating a Twitter account allows you to follow people who are tweeting about things that are interesting to you, or valuable to your professional learning.

Please feel free to respond in the comments if you have questions about this learning.

Learning to Search Anonymously on Twitter

Twitter is like a huge public library of information.  Learning the skills to find the information you need, and to send out the information you want to share to the right audience, are important digital skills.

Today we are learning the very simplest way to access information on Twitter – an anonymous search.  Here is a demonstration of how it is done.

Learning Activities

  1. Try searching for things you are interested in.  Try the different types of searches like top and live.  What happens when you choose Accounts?  There are many interesting people sharing on Twitter.
  2. Some popular education hashtags include #notabookstudy, #mathleadersNEO, #fdk, #onted, #ontedleaders, #ossemooc, #cpchat.  What others can you find? What hashtag gives you information that is of interest to you?
  3. Start building community and collaborating with others in this course.  We have set up a google sheet here to collect your favourite hashtag.  Please visit the site and share an education hashtag you have found.  Several hashtags and lists of hashtags have been shared on this page.  Bookmark it as a resource for further learning.

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The Teacher’s Guide to Twitter


Tom Whitby: Whom Should I Follow on Twitter?

Melissa Roth: Why I Love Twitter in my Classroom

Twitter hashtags to follow (contributions from #ontedleaders)

A Course or a MOOC?

(This lesson is optional.  If you are not interested in learning about the thinking behind this tiny, independent MOOC, please feel free to move on to the next lesson).

This “course” is set up as an asynchronous MOOC. We would like you to think about how this course is different from others you may have “taken”.

Sometimes teams or groups of educators work through this course together so that they can share their learning.


This course is a tiny MOOC.  What does that mean?  We think Dave Cormier explains it really well.  For the full video, check out our OSSEMOOC site here.  For more information on kinds of MOOCs, an explanation can be found here.

Please click on the title (Twitter for Absolute Beginners) to go back to the list of “lessons”.

Course Overview


Twitter for Absolute Beginners is a MOOC-style course.

It is set up so that you can work on it for about 10 minutes each day, or, work through it at a faster pace if you like.

Learning opportunities have been organized for you.  Please take advantage of all of the opportunities you can.  Invite colleagues to share the learning materials and conversations. Everything is open.

Please feel free to leave comments on this blog at any time.

Course Overview:

Week 1: Using Twitter as a Library: How to Access Information (no Twitter account required)

Week 2: Creating a Twitter Account: How to Create a Positive Professional Online Presence on Twitter

Week 3: The Anatomy of a Tweet: Understanding the Language of Twitter

Click on the title “Twitter for Absolute Beginners” to go back to the list of “lessons”.