Twitter Features Explained

Here at #OSSEMOOC we hope that your first two days of this mini-MOOC have helped you to see some of the potential of using Twitter as a source of professional learning.  This year, there has been an explosion of Twitter chats, where educators are having online conversations about topics they are passionate about.  Twitter chats often lead to further exploration of topics, on blogs, using Adobe Connect, Skype, Facetime or Google Hangout, on collaborative Google Docs/Slides or other collaborative platforms.

The most important idea is that we can collaborate with anyone, anywhere, anytime now.  As we realize this, we begin to see the infinite potential for student learning.

Will our understanding of networked learning translate into networked learning for our students?

OSSEMOOC is a community (the “C” stands for Community, not Course – we don’t have a finish line), and we invite our Ontario Education Leaders to contribute to the learning of others through this platform*. Today, we thank Brandon Zoras (@brandonzoras) for contributing an awesome guide to the features of Twitter found on your Twitter profile page (


Twitter Basics




Mentions and Hashtags



Activities for Learning

  1. What did you learn in these screencasts?  Choose one bit of learning and share it on Twitter.  Use the #ossemooc hashtag and #ontedleaders.  Add the link to this site.
  2. Help build the list of Ontario educators learning to use Twitter for self-directed learning.  This list will remain open and continue to grow as other educators work through this course.  Please add your Twitter handle here.
  3. Using Twitter daily helps build confidence and capacity.  How will you build Twitter into your daily routine?  One way is to find Twitter challenges or Twitter chats where you become part of a social group sharing in social media.  Currently, #OntEdLeaders are participating in this challenge, and a calendar of education chats can be found here.






*Contact us at ossemooc at gmail dot com if you would like to share your learning through blogging, screencasts, leading Twitter chats, contributing resources, or leading synchronous discussions.


Anatomy of a Tweet


The Power of a PLN

What’s a PLN?

The acronym actually stands for a few different possibilities: Personal Learning Network or Professional Learning Network.  Whatever you call it, your PLN will become your “tribe”, your support, your challengers, your collaborators, your friends.


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Shared under a creative commons BY-NC-SA licence by Paula Naugle


Our students live in a networked world, where understanding how to access information is a key digital literacy.  If we build our understanding of how to learn in a networked environment, we are better able to make the decisions to help our students to do this as well.

How do we build a PLN?

Building a Professional/Personal Learning Network takes some time.  You have to be willing to work on it each day.  It’s a commitment to self-directing your own learning. We demonstrate here how even 10 to 15 minutes each day can make a huge difference in your practice.

The easiest way to begin connecting with people is on Twitter. Principals in Ontario have shared here why building their PLN on Twitter is so critical to their work.

Building your Twitter stream or “feed” involves finding interesting people to follow.  You can find people to follow by:

a) asking others

b) viewing interesting tweets and following people as a result, particularly in Twitter Chats that align with your professional interests.

c) following those suggested to you on the Twitter site

d) following the lists created by other Twitter users

e) participating in #FollowFriday (or #FF) – Twitter users suggest great people to follow each Friday

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Shared by Tom Whitby on My Island View (click the picture for the full post)



Learning Activities:

1. Let’s help each other build a PLN.

Please take some time today to share a few (2-5) educators who add value to your PLN on Twitter.  If you are new to Twitter, you can use this list to start building a rich feed very quickly.

2. We learn in and through practice.  A great way to practice is to participate in a “Twitter Challenge”

#ontedleaders Twitter Challenge was posted on this site (see below) yesterday, and it can be found here.  Use Google Translate if you need it.  English versions are also posted on Twitter: #ontedleaders and #ossemooc

3. Build your cohort of learners.  What can we learn together?

How can you contribute to the learning of others?  Share your Twitter handle with the group.  We will build an OSSEMOOC list of participants in this MOOC so that we can follow each other.  When you are ready, please contribute here to build the list.




Tom Whitby: Whom Should I Follow on Twitter?

Will Richardson: Create Your PLN: 6 Easy Steps

Edublogs: What the Heck is a PLN?

Sampling Self-Directed Professional Learning Online: October 19, 2015

There are three events we want to draw your attention to today.  These are excellent examples of self-directed professional learning, shared on Twitter.
a) K12 Online Conference begins today at 8 a.m. ET (watch the videos any time after that).


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b) We are participating in the #ontedleaders Twitter Challenge, outlined here:


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​(We will translate for you.  Today is: Share a picture that inspires you, and share why and how)


We invite you to play along.  Post your Twitter Challenge responses with #ontedleaders and #ossemooc


c) #cpchat – Tonight at 9 p.m.


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Course Overview

Twitter for for Self-Directed Professional Learning is a MOOC-style course.  Learning opportunities have been organized for you.  Please take advantage of all of the opportunities you can.  Invite colleagues to share the learning materials and conversations. Everything is open.  We are here to support you in your journey to becoming a connected leader.

Please feel free to leave comments on this blog at any time, or email OSSEMOOC for support.

This “mini-MOOC” is designed to be a “next step” after Twitter for Absolute Beginners

Course Overview:

Week 1: Building your online Professional Learning Network (PLN)

Week 2: Tweeting

Week 3: Curating Online Content

The hashtag for the course is #ossemooc, and we encourage you to post items of interest to other education leaders using that hashtag.