At the PLE conference in Southampton last week (I know my recap is still missing) I participated in the workshop “Tweetstorming PLNs: Using Twitter to brainstorm about Personal Learning Networks”. The workshop was organized by Eleni Boursinou and Nino Pataraia and they used a the really interesting tweetstorming method to let us brainstorm about questions they provided.
The first thing they asked us was to come up with as many people influencing our daily work as possible. Additional to the names of the respective persons we had to specify our relationship (e.g. internal colleague, project partner, family …), the strength of the tie between us and the tools/technologies we use to connect to them. Also, we had to specify what we feel we learn from the person. This task was very challenging and given more time than twenty minutes, I’d come up with many more than my 15 people. A thing that would really help with such tasks would be regular triggers that ‘force’ you to reflect about your relation to someone you interact with (mail, twitter, facebook). If some tool would regularly ask the above learning-related questions that would certainly help in raising self-awareness and awareness about your connections. The organizers will now analyze the persons the workshop participants entered and come up with a visualization of that.
After that they asked us three questions we answered on Twitter using the #plntweet hashtag (see the archive in our Twapperkeeper).
- What motivates you to engage through your network?
- Why do you feel you learn from your peers?
- What do you learn from your network?
Not only that the discussion attracted many people from outside the workshop (some people came into the workshop room because of the engaging twitter stream), the tweetstorming method also created a vast number of responses and ideas. I’m interested in the analysis of the tweets and what Eleni and Nino can extract from the data.
The experiment also let me reflect about the power of my professional / learning network (moreover supported by Steve Wheeler’s article on his awesome PLN). The people I follow on Twitter and Facebook and Mendeley and all the other social networks are so creative and a continuous source of information supporting me, my awareness, triggering my reflection about issues that are related to my work and beyond. They bring objects (people, events, artefacts, communities) to my consciousness that would remain hidden otherwise. They comment on ideas that I share and come up with different perspectives and various answers to questions I ask. Steve Wheeler said: “I’m relying on you PLN. Without you I am just a single mind” and I added to this by saying
After all, I’d like to thank you all for being essential part of my daily learning, for sharing resources and giving feedback. YOU ARE AWESOME.