Twitter Survey Post 1

First a huge thank you to all who answered my survey. 85 people responded from all over the world.

The demographic information I got from it goes like this:

Length of time on twitter:

  • 15 — 2+ years
  • 32 — 1-2 years
  • 10 — 6-12 months
  • 15 — less than 6 months


  • 37 — Teachers – both Primary & Secondary
  • 35 — involved in some kind of ICT facilitation – some as part of teaching job
  • 4 — Librarian or Library Specialists
  • 6 — Senior positions – Principal/AP/DP
  • 7 — Other jobs – some in education, some not (some I wasn’t quite sure what the job was!

I then asked why they used twitter. I discovered that there were some broad areas here:

  • Connection
  • Collaboration/Collegiality
  • Information
  • Fun

There were many examples under each of those areas – too many to post them all so I’ll pick out a few examples for each.


  • Link with people in NZ & around world with similar interests/global connection
  • Other teachers/educators have same vision for enhancing teaching/learning in their classrooms
  • Keep my thinking fresh by extending my prof. network & interacting with people I would not normally have the chance to connect with


  • Discussions, controversies, new thinking
  • Support when looking for new ideas
  • Coffee conversations with e-colleagues
  • 24/7 access to collaborators


  • Asking and answering questions
  • Sharing tips and resources
  • Staying up-to-date
  • Keep in touch with what is happening in the outside world – especially important for people free-lancing
  • Creating wider audience for class blogs


  • Planning fun stuff like Flash Mob @ conference
  • Personal – friends & family
  • Sharing memorable and humorous events
  • Interest, curiosity, new things

Next I asked how Twitter helped professionally

  • Difficult to find funds to attend prof. dev. workshops – depend on Twitter & peers to learn and grow
  • Able to tear down the walls of my classroom & give my students a chance to connect with people around the world
  • Keeps me in touch with the outstanding role models in our (global) education system
  • Allowed us to restructure our classes to take advantage of Web 2.0
  • I’ve ‘stolen’ and used many ideas in the curriculum or own personal life; made friends; shared my own ideas; collaborated with others; reflected on my own practice and more
  • Has grown my PLN, challenged my thinking & ideas about education & specifically the impact of e-learning on pedagogy & student learning
  • First place I go to when I have a problem or need inspiration

I also asked them to make recommendations for people to follow — the top 5 people are listed below

  • @allanahk (13)
  • @teachernz (11)
  • @tombarrett (10)
  • @suewaters (8)
  • @wfryer (8)

Then I asked for “sage” advice for newbies.

  • Find strong people to follow
  • Make connections with people with similar interests
  • Enjoy the spirit of the community
  • Give yourself time to develop connections
  • Be eclectic in your mix of people you follow
  • Jump in & connect

And finally I asked for any last thoughts

  • Don’t worry if it takes a long time to ‘get’ – just about everyone says that
  • Visit the Blogger’s Cafes at conferences to meet up with people
  • 140 characters leads to tight, focussed writing/thinking
  • @dogtrax shared a poem he had written called “I dream in Twitter” – it’s worth listening to!

As you can see from this snippet there was a lot of information in the survey. It took me the better part of a weekend to pull this information out and put it into logical order (and work on my workshop presentation!)

I will write up my thoughts of what this all means in another post. I will also post a link to my finished slideshow (once I convert it to PPT from Keynote).

In the meantime the raw data is available here for people to look at. (Personal information removed) Please contact me if you want a downloadable version.

Thanks again to all who participated in this survey. You and your answers validated Twitter as an educational tool!

3 thoughts on “Twitter Survey Post 1

  • June 10, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Thanks for putting this survey together and collating the results. It’s a good overview of the reasons Twitter is useful for educators.

  • June 10, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    I’m impressed with the amount of work you put into this survey. Interesting stuff. Maybe the demographic of those that filled in the survey meant that most had been with Twitter for a reasonable amount of time. Maybe it’s an echo chamber thing as well- we talk to each other and everyone else lurks- too shy to fill in a form.

    I know I still get a kick out of linking up with new people on Twitter- especially people with a voice.

    To a large degree the changes to who sees tweets has left me somewhat unchanged as a lot of the people who I follow, follow other people that I follow too so we all still see everyone else’s tweets, or at least I think I do and if I feel I am missing out on some discussion I search for all tweets using the tweets name and get more of the conversation that way.

    I hate to say it but it is addictive- I know check Twitter before I check my multiple email accounts. Maybe Twitter attracts those with addictive personality traits.

    Maybe you should have asked the question. Would you rate yourself as having an obsessive compulsive personality disorder in which case Twitter could well be the ICT tool of choiceQ

  • July 23, 2009 at 12:18 am

    Maybe a word to the wise for newbies would be for them to be aware the Twitter timeline is very public and very findable. What they tweet can be read by anyone in any circumstance.

    Particularly in light of the recent flame by a blogger out looking for blood.

    And also I just unfollowed someone tonight who has sworn a few times- if I am in class and kids read that tweet it doesn’t set a very good example. You never know who will be in class in what time zone!

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