Twitter as a Learning Tool

I’m still not sold on Twitter.  There’s been lots of buzz about Twitter as a learning tool for years, but I didn’t bite.  Sure, I signed up for an account and I’ll tweet from time to time and I follow some folks – Buffalo Bills running back CJ Spiller (go Bills!), some conference speakers I was impressed with, some of my favorite bloggers who focus on training and development – but it’s never been a key piece to my own professional development strategy, let alone a tool I’ve ever used in my own training design.

This week, as I was in the midst of leading a training event, the following tweet caught my eye:


It was timely since I was desperately seeking some inspiration on what I should say in order to wrap up the 2.5 day series of workshops.  Perhaps it’s time to give Twitter a second look when it comes to a tool for my own professional development as well as a tool that can be used in my training efforts.

I still wonder: with sooooooooo many tweets cluttering up my Twitter feed, how can I cut through all the noise and find more 140-character pieces of wisdom like the timely tweet I found last week?  And perhaps more importantly, how can I cut through all the noise and reach my learners beyond the training room via Twitter?

Have you found Twitter useful?  How so?

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6 thoughts on “Twitter as a Learning Tool

  1. Hi there! I also didn’t find Twitter useful – initially.

    I think the trick is a) make lists to organize your streams and/or b) follow specific hashtags to filter out the noise. I still haven’t gotten around to creating lists, but following hashtags has made my use of Twitter a lot more enjoyable.


    • Good call – thanks Julie. Yes, every once in a while when I think to check out a specific hash tag, it can be quite interesting. I suppose part of it has to do with making the effort to use Twitter more often in order to play around and figure out how it can be useful. Thanks for the tips!

  2. I am in the same boat as you Brian. Not sold on Twitter but I know that it is important to experiment with to see what is possible. I have used Twitter in conjunction with a closing activity on a session I delivered on digital learning in the classroom. As a closer, participants tweeted top takeaways using a common hashtag. I had people pair up to avoid the angst that some feel using these tools and then I had up a back channel on the screen so that we could see what people were sharing immediately in the moment (I used Wifitti fort this I read off ideas as they came up and we then closed the session. Since not everyone uses Twitter I found that using tools where people can also just text answers can be helpful to allow for broader participation so that the tool does not get in the way of the learning.

    • Thanks for sharing your experiences with Twitter (and beyond) Scott. I like that approach. I’ve seen a presenter use a tool called Poll Everywhere( which sounds like a similar tool to Wifitti and I really liked being in the audience when it was used… I haven’t been able to design something with that technology yet… I’m still looking for a good opportunity!

    • Hi Toni – thanks for reading! There are several blogs I read fairly regularly – I like Todd Hudson’s blog focused on applying lean principles to training, Alex Rister’s Creating Communication blog, Michelle Baker’s phase(two)learning blog, the Allen Interactions team blog and Tom Kuhlman’s Rapid Elearning blog. I’d have included links to each, but I’m in India right now and every time I try to pull something up online, I’m re-directed to India-based websites for some reason.

      Anyways, thanks again for the comment and for reading. Do you have any blogs-of-choice?

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