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Education

Microblogging to support your own and others’ learning

My doctoral research on the use of microblogging for professional learning uncovered a set of microblogging activities and behaviours that can be categorised into those that support educators’ own learning and those that support the learning of others. These are overviewed in the table below:

Category Activity/behaviour

Support own learning

Follow a link posted by someone in your network

Save a resource posted by someone in your network

Act on something you have read in a microblog post

Engage in a conversation with someone in network

Go back to a saved resource posted by someone in network

Use hashtags (#)

Search for content

Ask for a resource on a specific topic

Share information from a conference/workshop using #

Support learning of others

Share a resource e.g., website, book, video

On-share a resource posted by someone in your network

Engage in a conversation with someone in network

Use hashtags (#)

Share information from a conference/workshop using #

Three of the activities/behaviours have been listed in both categories, that is, engage in a conversation with someone in network; use hashtags (#); and share information from a conference/workshop using a hashtag (#). From one-on-one interviews it was ascertained that these three behaviours can be in support of the learning of others, but equally, educators used them to aid their own learning. For example:

  • In relation to engaging in a conversation with someone in their network, several educators reported that this activity was an important contributor to their learning. On educator reported how he compiles the ideas exchanged and shares it back with the group, thus contributing to others’ learning in addition to his own learning.
  • In relation to using hashtags (#), one educator described how the use of hashtags aids her learning as well as that of others involved in the use of a particular hashtag.
  • In relation to sharing information from a conference/workshop using a hashtag (#), one educator reported that contributing to conference back channels not only aids the learning of others, but also helps maintain her engagement and is useful for internalising ideas for herself.

Click here to download the full thesis – Learning in 140 characters: Microblogging for professional learning.

 

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