Twitter as a PLN

Use Twitter to create a Learning Community and a Personal Learning Network for You for Life

The objective of this exercise is to:

  1. Create a Personal Learning Network(PLN) using Twitter
  2. Create a learning community around this course
  3. Help you discover your interests in this subject and others.
  4. Give you skills to use twitter to create learning networks for your other interests and for lifelong learning.

See requirements below. This is part of the “Share” Component of the evaluation for the course.

This requires work throughout the semester. Final evaluation done at the end of the semester.

  • You will need a Twitter account for this assignment. If you have one already that you want to use for class, then go to the next step. If you don’t yet have a Twitter account—or if you prefer not to use your personal account for classroom work—then sign up for a new account. You can create a disposable account if for any reason you prefer not to share your personal account for classroom activities.
  • Make your account open for anyone to follow; having a locked account essentially tells your audience that you would rather not know who they are and results in them not requesting your approval (if you are concerned about spam and/or who is following, in the Settings enable the option to get an email whenever you have a new follower; this will allow you to see when someone follows and to Block them if necessary)
  • To protect your privacy, you can use an alternate email to sign up for this class-specific Twitter account (or even sign up for a dummy email address for this purpose), use that account to meet the requirements of the assignment, and delete or abandon the account when the semester ends.

Review resources

Twitter Tutorial: Basic Navigation (See Video Below)

The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter

Twitter Apps for the Iphone and Android

Twitteracy: Tweeting as a New Literary Practice(PDF)

Now start Tweeting

Tweets should contain the #DigitalMaking hashtag so that they can be easily followed by classmates and others. You should meet the following requirements over the semester, but your tweets should be on a different days, and spread across the semester. This is to encourage you to check your account often and interact over different days.

  1. First, send me a tweet ( @vishalsachdev) so that I can confirm that you are signed up and ready to go
  2. Make sure that you are on my list for the semester
  3. Share information by posting abbreviated links to online content relevant to the class, which are spread out over different weeks. These must be original tweets, and not retweeted links.
  4. Follow other users in this class. Create a Twitter list of people relevant to any topic(s) you desire. Your list should include at least 10 users or you could create two lists of five users each. Search for people, topics, on on a variety of areas, some of which should be of relevance to the course . Some of those should be what interests you personally or professionally. Since we want you to create a PLN, select those topics/people, from which you learn something.
  5. Retweet posts by people you follow(including other students in this class). These should not be randomly chosen, but selected because of their usefulness and/or relevance to the course. Retweets indicate that you find the persons tweet interesting and also indicates to the original poster that the person who re-tweeted shares a similar interest.
  6. Favorite tweets that you want to keep as a reference for later, or perhaps read in detail at a later time. This also indicates to the person who sent the tweet that their contribution is being “seen” or “heard”
  7. Engage in conversation by asking questions and interacting with those who respond, using the @mention format
  8. Live-Tweet : Reading and working on assignments are often perceived as a solitary experiences but in our networked society it need not be. In order to help us all engage with the content, each other, our activities outside of class, and create a collective experience, I would like you to “live tweet” as you read and/or work on learning in the course, posting to Twitter whatever comes to your mind.  By “whatever comes to your mind” I mean things that are about the content and/or what you are working on. You might also tweet about what you liked/ learned from the readings/activities. You should @reply to other class members frequently so that we can begin discussions about the texts and what you’re working on and then continue those discussions when we meet online or on the forums. Add the #DigitalMaking hashtag to all “live tweets.”


Parts of this assignment are stolen and modified from Bill wolff, at Rowan University, Mark Sample at George Mason University, who stole it from Zach Whalen at the University of Mary Washington