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.


Infographic: A Teacher’s Guide to Social Media

A Teacher’s Guide to Social Media

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.

How Twitter is impacting my productivity

I generally have my Twitter feed running, even while I’m writing. At times it can be distracting, but with a 27″ monitor, it can sit in my peripheral vision, barely intruding. Today I noticed a tweet from Geographical Magazine (@GeographicalMag) alerting followers to their new iPhone and iPad app. Without hesitation I clicked on the link to the iTunes preview page. I rarely turn down free apps related to geoscience and so it was with this one. I retweeted @GeographicalMag‘s original tweet while installing and making an in-app purchase. Everything went so smoothly that I began writing a review of the app. Geographical Magazine thanked me for the retweet. I tweeted them of getting the app, the desire to write a review, and need for permission to use  screen caps. Approval came a few minutes later.

The app review will hopefully be up in the next day or so. My experience today shows how social media, and especially Twitter, is impacting the way some of us do our work.  I’m thankful for tools like Twitter that can initiate a conversation between publishers and end users so easily (especially between London, England and Stevens Point, WI) to get their work done.

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.

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