Tweet not the poor desk – trying to set up a PLN on Twitter

I’d dismissed Twitter as a forum for the egocentric; I couldn’t see the point of announcing to the world that you were drinking coffee. We went thought the same thing with ‘I’m on the train’ when mobile phones were popularised.
However, I need a place to keep track of all of the useful sites I come across and started to use Twitter a few days ago as an alternative to bookmarks. Gradually I’ve started to follow a few people, and now reading what is thrown up on Flipboard has become part of my daily routine.

It occurred to me that what I was finding might be useful to colleagues in the Department, and so I’m going to try to see if we can create our own little PLN to share what we find. My hope is that by starting in a supported way, that colleagues will then branch out on their own to explore further areas of interest. We’ve all just been issued with iPads and so this seems like a good time to capture the interest and enthusiasm currently being shown. Like most teams, we have a broad range of experience, so I hope that this isn’t ging to be too much too soon.

Here’as the quick invitation sent out to the group:

Twitter – a modest proposal

How do you find useful advice? How do you share things you’ve found?

I want to propose that we create our own Personal Learning Network (PLN) as we get started with iPads. This way, we can quickly and easily share our ‘finds’.


Make a Twitter account. I suggest we use staff initials plus ’eng’ as a name (eg XXXeng) to make us easy to find but fairly anonymous..

Download the Twitter app for convenience.

What happens then?

If we then ‘follow’ each other, we can share anything we come across on the net.
If you see something you like, use the share icon and select ‘Tweet’. Add a couple of lines to tell us what it is and then send.

Already a Twit/Tweeter?

If you are already a Twit/Tweeter … then you can decide for yourself if you keep a separate work profile or if you want to let us follow you.

Of course, if you also sign up to Flipboard then all of these words of wisdom from your colleagues can come flying directly to you in the format of a glossy magazine! We may never need another copy of ‘Hello’ in the Department.

I thought about the naming system after I’d been playing around with this for a few days – by which time I’d already started an account. You can follow me at @AlCass2 where I’ve already put some useful stuff relating to Twitter, iPads, Language Study and more.

I’m sure we’ll refine this idea as time goes by but it seems like a good place to start
Ali Cass
June 2012


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How to remember…and another way of collecting resources to share

From Evernote:

How to remember


I really liked the way this was presented. The advice is useful too!

I’m trying to think hard about how I can easily share bits and prices I come across. Posterous has always been a kind of personal memory board to record useful resources or thoughts and so on; the fact that others can read it has been secondary – but rewarding.

Now, I seem to have three audiences: me; anyone else wiith similar interests in education; and colleagues starting on the iPad trial.

So I am thinking about easy ways to pass on useful links. I’m just starting with Twitter @AlCass2 which I think will be useful for passing on links, whereas Posterous allows greater comment and a place to share new material.

Managing the URLs is problematic and I’m trying out mailing links to a dedicated Evernotes notebook , where I can hold them until I either tweet or post them to Posterous. I’m hoping that this will make things more manageable and keep a record of what is where and be more aware of trends.

By creating a notebook (in this case called alclinks) for these possible links, I can email directly to the notebook by adding @alclinks into the Subject line. This saves looking for the notes later. I can email to Posterous using my Evernote email – because Posterous is clever like that!

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Created using Skitch by Evernote.

Sent from my iPad

Having seen various rather expensive looking bits of kit beginning to appear in schools to allow quick votes and more, it is good to see this little app which seems to run happily on the classroom pcs as well as the iPads. Simply set up a ‘room’, tell your students where you are and you are ready to do quick votes, multiple choice
And other variations. This is one I’ll certainly be using.

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Interactive Images

Created using Skitch by Evernote.

Just came across this and it looked interesting.  It might be useful as a front face when we are trying to distribute linked resources. In some ways it rather reminded me of touchscreen explorer (so that really ages me).

thing link

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As for accountability of teachers and administrators, Sahlberg shrugs. “There’s no word for accountability in Finnish,” he later told an audience at the Teachers College of Columbia University. “Accountability is something that is left when responsibility has been subtracted.”
Sent from my iPad

As it seems that the USA is taking the accountability model to ridiculous extremes, it’s little wonder that some folk are looking at alternative systems which seem to be getting results despite seeminrremaking remaking much of the received wisdom from on high. An interesting and thought-
provoking article

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Adapting to life with iPad

Like nearly everyone I’ve spoken to, my reaction to the iPad has been immensely positive. The difference between using this and my old laptop which fell over several times a day or simply told me that this or that programme was not responding (and would I like to report it?) is striking.

What advice would I give to new users? For a start, keep a note of every new log in and password. I know you think each one is memorable, but after a couple of days of finding new toys with each one needing to be registered or linked, you’ll be glad you did it.

One of my first discoveries was that I could photograph my page of hand written notes for this and save them straight into Evernote. I was simply amazed to find that this fantastic app can search my writing to find the bit I want.

I am struggling though to create a mental map of how things fit together and where stuff is kept. Sorting this out is necessary for my own peace of mind!

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Year 8 launch Tech Doctors – a blog of advice on technology for parents

Well, here is a link to the version which has gone ‘live’. They are waiting expectantly for any feedback, questions or comments.


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