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:
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!