I started noticing references being made to twitter about 18 months ago on various TESOL / learning technology blogs I read and decided to find out what it was all about, so I set up a Twitter account (my ID is @jamesbaggesen). I started off by following the same people whose blogs I was reading and some of the people they were following as they shared similar professional interests to me. I must admit to being overwhelmed at first by the quantity of tweets that some individuals, I had followed, posted – I felt was being inundated with tens of emails and it was if my email inbox was being clogged up by unsolicited emails. I hadn’t got my head around what Twitter was all about and was treating it, conceptually, like an email forum and decided to “unfollow” this individual to stop their tens of daily tweets cluttering up my “inbox”. I re-followed this individual once I had made that conceptual leap and now value their dedicated and insightful tweets! Here’s some useful advice on managing Twitter
Conceptual leap made – why do I find Twitter so useful? In a sentence, it is the best learning tool I think I have ever come across. I follow people with similar professional interests to me and they share web-based information and resources with each other. I have created my own Personal Learning Network (PLN), which, if I need help I ask e.g. I recently wanted to know if anyone could recommend an on-line concept mapping tool and several hours later I had been recommended 5 or 6 sites. When I come across a useful resource or an interesting piece of information I tweet it.
I set up another Twitter account (@BCMadridAdults) to push out web-based resources for learners of English primarily to students where I work at the British Council in Madrid. However, I soon discovered that it was being followed by people beyond this context.
I am one of those few people who doesn’t use Facebook but I know that most of our students do. So I set up a Facebook page, at the same time as the Twitter account, to push out resources that learners of English might find useful. I don’t use facebook for sharing personal information and therefore, according to Chris Hughes (a co-founder of Facebook), I don’t have “an online identity”.
I also use Youtube as a learning resource. Here’s a conference presentation on using Twitter in language teaching
In the future I want to use Edmodo.