Twittering isn’t just for catching up on your friends from high school anymore. The realm of social networking is growing and there’s a wealth of information out there if you just take a little time each day to tap this incredible resource. So how do you access all that cutting edge distance learning information utilizing Twitter? Let’s take a look…
Remember those activities in school where the teacher wrote a central concept on the board and everyone blurted out words or phrases that related to the topic at hand? Mind mapping is a great way to get the creative juices flowing. Words and phrases just come flying out without worrying about cohesion but clearly just a conceptual amalgamation of thought. If this sort of abstract explosion is for you, then Twitter is the way to go.
What is Twitter?
On the surface, Twitter looks like just a hodge-podge of folks telling you about their recent foray to the local coffee shop but with the right tools, it can be a powerful networking agent for the bargain basement price of free. In addition, with a little research you can power your blog, department or next elearning project with the sound advice of other elearning experts from around the globe. You can benefit from others research and find some great links to all the hot trends in the industry.
Tools in the Twitterverse
Once you get an account set up, if you plan on spending any real amount of time utilizing Twitter, you might want to ramp up the usability of the Twitterverse by downloading Tweetdeck. Although Tweetdeck is still in beta, this tool can definitely help you organize the plethora of information streaming into your Twitter account. Features include the following:
Easily incorporate photos from your computer. Shorten URL’s right where you Tweet. Ability to post of Facebook and/or Twitter at the same time through the API, as well as view Facebook status updates. Create Groups that organize the relevance or category of the accounts you follow on Twitter. Do searches in Twitter to find new people to follow. See the current TwitScoop that shows tag clouds of the hottest topics on Twitter. Integrate your 12 Seconds account to upload and view your 12 second video posts. View your StockTwits.
The Hash Tag #
Simplistic by nature but powerful in results, the hash tag allows you to search the Tweets or People by a specific topic. So for example, if you want to see the latest Tweets about eLearning, you would simply go to the search bar on your Twitter page and type #eLearning. The results will be all the latest Tweets organized by time that contain the word searched. In addition, it’s not even necessary to be a Twitter user to benefit from the information. Hashtags.org allows you to do the search directly from their website to view the latest posts. Also, if you are on Twitter and want to make sure that your topics are indexed, simply follow http://twitter.com/hashtags on your account to ensure that your Tweets are listed and indexed.
Well that’s the skinny on getting started learning and interacting with other distance learning professionals using Twitter. Now go get your first 140 characters of wisdom together and start Tweeting.