Building a PLN- The 20 "MUSTS"


  1. Actually complete your bio.  Create a profile that says something about you, offering potential followers information about your interests, professional or otherwise.  
  2. Learn the basics.   Learn the basic terminology for Twitter.
  3. Get some style.  Decide what kind of tweeter you want to be.
  4.  Learn from others.  Spend time seeing how others have set up and been using their accounts.
  5. Don’t be mean.  Never say anything on Twitter you wouldn’t want people to find out about, or wouldn’t say in any other situation.
  6. Announce that you’ll be joining a hashtag chat or conference.  If you’re going to be tweeting more than usual, let your followers know in advance so they can choose to tune out if they’re not interested in your live tweeting or chatting.  Today- #sparc14
  7. Actually respond in a reasonable amount of time.  Respond as soon as you can, just like with email or any other digital communication, especially if you’re using Twitter in your courses.
  8. Be gracious and say thank you.  A little bit of gratitude goes a long way on Twitter.
  9. Make mistakes.  No one is perfect.
  10. Start your own hashtag chat.  Twitter chats have exploded in popularity in recent months, so get in on the trend while the getting’s good.  I started #teach2blog
  11. Find and use some hashtags.  You’ll make it easier for others to find your tweets if you add a few relevant hashtags here and there.
  12. Do ‘Follow Friday’.  Every Friday, Twitter explodes with suggestions on who to follow.
  13. Share what you’re reading.  Reading a story - Share it!
  14. Reach out and connect with someone.  Not everyone you connect with on Twitter has to be in your field or even in academia.
  15. Do some backchannel talks.  Whether you have students post to Twitter during class or ask them to share comments during a presentation, these backchannel talks can help facilitate conversation and provide a record of a shared learning experience.- Storify is a great example-
  16. Create your own classroom hashtag.  One way to keep classroom tweets organized is by having a shared hashtag that all students use.
  17. Share and collaborate some of your lesson plans.  Educators can come together to share and collaborate on lesson plans quite easily using Twitter.
  18. Collaborate with other classrooms in your school, district, or another country.  Why work alone when you can connect with other classrooms?
  19. Host reading discussions.  Holding a reading discussion over Twitter gives everyone a chance to chime in, even shy students who might not otherwise speak up.-  School Tweet-Up is an example.
  20. Actually use Twitter for writing assignments. Want to teach your students the art of concise language? Assign them poetry or prose to be written on Twitter.

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