Twitter Chats and PLNs

On October 2nd our class was lucky enough to listen to a presentation delivered by Chris Tuttell, who is an educator that seeks to facilitate innovative learning through technology for students of all ages. Chris is extremely passionate about PLNs.

What is a PLN?

A PLN is a Professional Learning Network- Teachers can choose to be part of a PLN and Chris demonstrated how you can expand your PLN through the social media platform Twitter.

What is a PLC?

A PLC stands is a Professional Learning Community! Most often, teachers are assigned to a PLC, which usually aligns with the grade you teach. PLCs can be beneficial but they are also restrictive because the teachers in your PLC may not share the same passion for collaboration as you do!

What do you use your PLN for?

Chris gave examples of how she has used twitter to connect and collaborate with teachers from across the country. She has even been able to accumulate needed resources through the people she has connected with. A primary purpose of a PLN is to share lessons and resources with parents and colleagues. Parents love to know what their children are learning at school, which is why it is integral for parents to be part of teacher’s PLNs. Teachers can share students’ work as well as images/videos of activities undertaken. This communication can improve teacher-parent relationships

As an educator, one of my greatest hopes for the future is that all students will have access to quality education, which is made possible through great teachers and great resources. If teachers collaborated more with each other and shared more of their resources, lesson plans and pedagogy, education in schools could reach a new level. The great thing is that we have this incredible platform through which we can make this happen!



I am not completely comfortable using Twitter but Chris’ presentation inspired me to work harder to master diverse forms of technology to enhance the learning experience of my future students. In order to use Twitter effectively and appropriately as a teacher, I will need to be aware of the cyber safety issues that arise when using online platforms. I will also need to inform my students about cyber safety.

I had never even heard of a PLN prior to this lesson but now I am inspired to establish a PLN. I will be a teacher in a matter of years and I will be better equipped for the classroom if I start making connections and collaborating with educators now.

Twitter ChatsĀ 

A Twitter Chat is a public conversation based around a unique hashtag. Questions are prepared by a moderator and posted every 5-10 minutes. Twitter Chats exist for every topic imaginable and are occurring every minute of the day. You can discover different education related Twitter Chats via the Education Chat calendar.

After Chris’ presentation we engaged in a class twitter chat around the hashtag ECI201. Ms Davis acted as the moderator and posed the following questions:

How do you see yourself using Twitter in your future classroom?

Would you have a separate Twitter for your classroom?

Prior to this lesson I had never heard of Twitter Chats. I enjoyed responding to the questions and seeing other people’s responses. I like how you can respond to the main questions as well as to other people’s responses. We used the Twitter Chat during the digital divide debates.

Why use Twitter chats?

  • Twitter Chats are beneficial because they encourage students to remain actively engaged during presentations
  • Twitter Chats empower shy students to contribute to class discussion.

My experience with Twitter Chats

I think that Twitter Chats can be beneficial for students and teachers alike, however I personally struggle to use them during presentations. During the digital divide discussions we were encouraged to comment on the content and ask questions. I attempted to get involved in the Twitter chats but I found that it distracted me from the debates. I was unable to multi task effectively so I don’t think Twitter Chats are suitable for me. I wonder how I can learn to engage in Twitter Chats and be present in real-time conversations simultaneously.

I will definitely utilise Twitter Chats in my future classrooms because they are an effective way to measure student learning and encourage student participation. I never viewed Twitter as an educational tool but I am excited for its potential in the classroom!