Twitter, a microblogging tool, is perhaps my best tool for connecting to other educators around the world. I find several useful links daily with it. Plus, I’ve received help to questions I’ve posted (ie within five minutes someone I never interacted with, sent me a link to download blank geopolitical maps so I could help a grade 5 teacher). But, I didn’t always think highly of Twitter. Initially, I zeroed in on the fluff messages about ‘pouring some coffee’ and ‘I’m baking some cookies’. Plus, the actual name didn’t jive with me. But, with the help of Simon May, I could see some uses for developing my personal learning network (PLN).

I heard about Twitter Kharma at the Learning 2.008 conference. But, I was on information overload, so it took until now for me to try it out when I saw another twitterer tweeted about it. Here’s how I used it.

  1. I went to http://dossy.org/twitter/karmaTwitter Karma screenshot from 2007-12-19
  2. When I saw that I had to provide my Twitter ID and password, I re-opened my Twitter window and changed my password to something obscure for this exercise.
  3. After entering my twitter username and password, I waited a minute and saw something similar to this on the right —>
  4. I sorted by ‘following’ so I would only see the twitters who follow me and I do not follow their tweets.
  5. It’s sorted by last tweet, so I clicked on their avatars and determined if the person was worth following. I searched to see how informative their tweets were – did it mention lessons or current events I found interesting, did they have links to possible useful sites, did they have some useful things in their favorites section, did they avoid posting frivolous stuff (ie I’m off to buy a chocolate bar)
  6. If I was impressed, I clicked ‘follow’ and I proceeded to write them a message (remember they are already following me, so this is possible) stating I found them with Twitter Kharma and what I liked about their twitter presence. I’ve found writing simple messages great for developing a positive learning network.
  7. It took about an hour. After the process, I closed the window and changed my password back to its original one.

Here are four gems I found this way – thanks to them for finding me first: mrsc2902, justinreeve, akipta, jerrycobbs

Twitter Kharma – worth the time in expanding your Twitter experience.

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