Ferguson, H. (2010, June). Join the flock!. Learning & leading, 37(8), 12-14. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/learn/publications/learning-and-leading/issues/Join_the_Flock.aspx
Miller, S.M. (2010, June). Enhance your twitter experience. Learning & leading, 37(8), 14-17. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/learn/publications/learning-and-leading/issues/Join_the_Flock.aspx
In studying the article "Join the Flock" I found myself immediately confused with what a PLN was, luckily it was explained by the second paragraph. A PLN is a community who learns together. The article takes things step by step to guide you into building your online community to learn from through Twitter, expressing how each step contributes to the bigger picture of developing your PLN. Starting with setting up an account and creating a bio and ending with the importance of contributing to the stream of information created within you PLN, the article has helped me understand why we created twitter accounts to begin with. Originally I was extremely hesitant because I always vowed to never create such a pointless social account but this article has guided me to understand how important the 140 characters are in establishing the foundation of a useful tool in education.
A perfect compliment to “Join the Flock,” “Enhance Your Twitter Experience” goes into the details of becoming an active twitter user and continues to nurture the excitement of such a useful educational tool. In reading the the article it seems there is a freedom to being limited by 140 characters. It is enough to not “make a fool of yourself” while still connecting people “to blogs and websites.” But I would have to say my favorite part of the article is the twitter twerminology towards the end. It seems that with every great Internet sensation comes a flood of terminology that can overwhelm less familiar users. So I for one am grateful to know about things like Hashtags, Twaffic, Tweeple and so on.
Q1: How would someone be able to sort through the useless information on twitter to find helpful information?
Based on my understanding of twitter and the article, it seems that this could be best accomplished through the use of hashtags and following the right set of people. I think that professionals would refrain from posting/tweeting useless information as to maintain their professional demeanor. At the same time, hashtags allow someone to sort through what seems to be endless information for what is specifically useful to them. Through time and dedication it would seem that the community one builds on twitter would define how productive tweeting can be.
Q2: How could any real progress be made in conversations when everything is limited to such a small number of characters?
Often when we look for information we can be overloaded with long pages of information and descriptions. Having such a limited dialogue box allows us to simply communicate in highlights rather than essays. Although we can easily listen to one person’s long rant about what they feel is important, having a 140 character limit allows for twitter users to sort through dozens of opinions and thoughts in the time it may take to read through what could be a useless thought of one person.