Friday, July 15, 2011

Join the Flock

Join the Flock
“The first thing to know is that developing a PLN on Twitter takes a commitment, not necessarily a huge one, but it does take some time. It is a bit like starting a new friendship: You cultivate a relationship by chatting over coffee in the faculty room or sharing an anecdote in the hall. It is the kind of commitment that causes you to pause rather than walk on, and that's what it will take to develop and maintain a PLN using Twitter.” (Ferguson) In this article “Join the Flock” the author is really trying to convey the helpfulness of twitter to a educator, employee, and friend. The author explains to the reader how to set up a twitter account, how to manage your friends, followers and discussion boards to the reader. The author explains that you do not have to participate in conversation with anyone to receive information. If you choose you can sit back and read without actually posting something. It is advised to start small and work your way up to post. This will allow you to get comfortable with twitter.
I see some good in twitter with having the availability to link up with other colleges and professionals. However I see Facebook, Diigo, or Google being a better resource to use with students than Twitter. Twitter has a very small character max and is limited in videos and pictures. Not saying that it is wrong if a teacher decides to use Twitter, I am just saying my own preference would be to use something that is more versatile and creative with my students than what Twitter can offer.
When I have a question, I turn to my PLN and wait to hear back. It may seem like 140 characters does not allow enough room to communicate, but those few characters connect me to blogs and websites. (Ferguson) In this article the author tries to persuade the readers to widen their PLN by adding Twitter to their repertoire. She explains that Twitter is a great source to meet other individuals around the world that have similar interest as yourself. She states that it is just more than a business connection, Quote, “Over time, I have built relationships with people I know only by their photos or avatars, but they are real people to me nonetheless. I look for them in my stream of tweets and recognize them as they scroll by. They are my PLN, and I am part of theirs.” (Ferguson) In the final statement of the article the author states her final plead to the readers to begin their own Twitter account. “So join the flow of ideas and learning and watch it change how you see yourself as a teacher and your students as learners.” (Ferguson)
Ferguson, H. (2010, Jun/Jul). Join the flock! Learning & Leading with Technology, 37(8), 12-15.


  1. Hi Tony, I thought it was interesting how the author of your article compared a person's relationship to Twitter to a person's relationship with a friend. It was also interesting how she said that it takes a commitment and that it takes time. I am in my early stages of "friendship" with Twitter. The first time I used it was for our class. Honestly, I am still not convinced that "tweets" are going to do much for my personal learning network. I tend to agree with you that Facebook, Diigo, and Google seem to be better resources for students. I also like blogs as a way for students to express themselves, collaborate with each other, and complete assignments.

    Lynne Dudas

  2. Tony,
    I agree with the author that Facebook, Diggo, and Google are better resources to work with students rather than twitter. Since twitter only allows you to use a small amount of characters it seems hard to get my point across. Also, I think if you get students to use twitter, they may use improper grammar and spelling because they have few characters to work with. I also agree that twitter can be a great way to get information from people and groups in a instant. For example, on my twitter account I had some great tweets about physical activities I could do for my class and I didn't even have to search any websites and I am getting this information from leading physical education websites. It does take a commitment to get use to twitter. However, I see more use in other PLNs than twitter that will contribute to my learning and teaching.

  3. I like your comparisons between Twitter and Facebook/Diigo. Indeed, a tweet is limited to 140 characters and is not ideal for statements with deep thoughts. In fact, each technological tool has its strengths and limitations. I think teachers, students, and parents all need to think about what technology can do and what it may get in the way of learning.