Suzie Boss on the use of Twitter

Suzie Boss, journalist and contributor does an excellent job of describing her use of and how educators can benefit from Twitter.


Making Professional Connections with Twitter

I’m currently serving on an ad hoc marketing committee for the National Council for  Geographic Education (NCGE). One of my goals is to encourage the use of social media to facilitate connections between the organization, its current members, potential new members and nonmembers alike. Twitter is a vehicle that can accomplish my goal even for the less-tech savvy and social media sceptics.

Twitter is more than a microblogging app to push thoughts out, it’s a way to make and develop connections. Twitter has become an important tool for me to stay up-to-date with my professional interest in technology-integrated teaching and learning, especially in geography. It has also expanded my personal learning network and professional connections tremendously.

An excellent example of using Twitter for professional connections occured recently. Dr. Andrew Shears(@andrewshears) and I  connected on Twitter over a year ago. Our connection drew closer when he accepted his first full-time geography position at UW- Fox Valley. I’ve been “down the road” from his new home at UW-Stevens Point for 26 years. One Sunday morning Andrew posted a question to Twitter and I was able to help him out. The conversation is included on the right. The power and immediacy of social media like Twitter becomes clear from this example. A new faculty person connecting with an experienced one sharing and addressing issues related to their careers.

Some would say that they are not “techy” enough to be using Twitter. I would argue that those are just the people who could benefit from Twitter if they are curious about using social media for professional development. The key issue for most is knowing how to connect to the right people and how to filter the “wheat from the chaffe”. Those are topics for a future blog post.

Apple’s magazine subscription market place tips scale for initial mobile app development

For one publisher, Apple’s magazine subscription market place development tipped the scale when deciding on the mobile operating system to initially develop for.  Geographical published by the Royal Geographical Society recently released an app for iOS. An interesting exchange occured over their choice of operating systems to release the app for first. In a quick conversation posted to Twitter, they made clear that the Apple magazine subscription “subs market” was a “bit more developed.

Social Media Revolution 2011 Video

The 2011 revision to a great video by Erik Qualmann.

Shared on Twitter this week ….

News and comment shared by The Digital Professor this week.

“BBC News – Does it pay to be a student (from the UK) in America?”

The 10 Biggest Myths About Synchronous Online Teaching:

“Professors Publish Guide to Copyright Issues of Multimedia Projects – Wired Campus-The Chronicle of Higher Education”

“Professor’s iPhone App Gets Users Off the Beaten Path – Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education”

“Isarithmic History of the Two-Party Vote « David B. Sparks”

“Top Trends of 2010: Growth of eBooks & eReaders”

“Paper or electronic? Universities consider e-textbooks | The Daily Collegian”

“E-Learning Brings University Education to Post-Quake Haiti”

Create a Private Twitter Community with TweetKnot

homePageImageWant to use Twitter in your course but are concerned about privacy? Check out TweetKnot ( A Knot is a community of Twitter users who share a common interest. Every member of a community can send a message to all other members of the same community. All you need is a twitter account to join a Knot. Knots can be public or private. Private Knots require approval by the creator to join.

The creator can specify a Knot to follow any member of Twitter thus eliminating the need for each community member to follow someone individually . For example, I could create a “Climate Change” Knot  for my  climatology course and follow and whenever there is a tweet from  ClimateChangeUS it will be automatically posted to the Climate Change” Knot. For more ways to use TweetKnot see the “Help” page.

Camtweet and Twitcam: Live video on Twitter

Want to send video tweets or live video updates via twitter? Two new applications Camtweet and Twitcam may satisfy your needs.

Livestream’s Twitcam ( makes it easy to get started by using your Twitter credentials to login. Click the “Broadcast Live” button, setup the video source (it’s a flash driven app), describe the video before broadcasting (this is your tweet announcing the video), click the “Broadcast & Tweet button”, and you’re online. Click the button again to end the video and archive it at Livestream’s site. While broadcasting you can carry on a live chat.


Camtweet (, in private beta at this writing, is brought to you by Justin.TV, one of the biggest players in the live streaming market. It has the same basic application screen and setup, though Camtweet allows you to adjust frame rate (up to 500kbps) and sound. Chat is also implemented in the application.

Check out the demo from TechCrunch’s Real Time CrunchUp 2009

My tests found both apps very easy to setup and use. Using a screen capture product like CamTwist for Mac as the video source, one can broadcast your desktop screen. Recently, a student asked where to find exam handouts linked to a D2L quiz. I fired up TwitCam, captured a portion of the screen (with audio instructions) showing how to get to them, and posted it as a “tweet” for any of my students to view. This is much more efficient than capturing the screen with a product like Screenflow, converting the video to a suitable resolution, uploading the file to my course site, linking the video, then announcing it via email.

Give these apps a try. These apps will find their way into my tool kit of applications for communicating with colleagues,and especially students. I think you’ll find either of them useful educational tools too.

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