On the 23rd of January 2014 it was my 5 year anniversary on Twitter. It all started with this Tweet.



Nothing too visionary, groundbreaking or related to education. It took me nearly 10 months to start using Twitter as my Personal Learning Network (PLN), although now I prefer my Global Learning Network (GLN) as my twitter feed comes from so many inspiring educators from all around the world. This delay was because I didn’t know anything about GLN’s or teachers using Twitter for learning. Nobody in my school was using Twitter for education, in fact nobody in any of the primary schools in the City of Sheffield was either!(although I didn’t know it at the time the excellent Lois Linderman (@morethanMaths) a Sheffield Secondary Teacher started in 2007)  I had no trailblazers to follow, no innovators to inspire or any leaders to guide me.

Or so I thought.

What I didn’t understand at the time was how Twitter worked. My very first tweet was read by nobody! In fact my first months worth of tweets weren’t seen by anyone! I didn’t have a single follower for 3 months-yet I kept on tweeting because I didn’t understand Twitter.

Then in November 2009 some 10 months since my first tweet, I attended the Guardian Innovation in Education conference in London. They had a Twitter back channel and were displaying their tweets! I started tweeting my views about the conference and went to my first tweet-up.(There were 6 of us out of an attendance in the 500’s!)


At that first tweet-up I met up with Zoe Elder (@fullonlearning) and James Cross (@jamesrCross) who I still follow today, it was at this meeting where the group discussed the conference and we continued to tweet each other after the lunch meet-up had finished. It was this point I started to realise the potential of twitter for educators, I started following more educators from around the globe whose tweets interested me. I started joining in conversations.

At last I could see a purpose for using Twitter as an Educator, for sharing great practise, for discussing education topics and for learning from educators from around the globe.

Anyway enough with the nostalgia!The two reasons for this post (apart from celebrating 5 years of twitter and averaging 16 tweets a day since I joined!) are-

  • When I first started on Twitter I didn’t know who to follow, I had no idea who were the best sharers of resources and I had to go on a twitter journey following people as I had conversations. The more conversions and links I made on twitter, the more people I followed and who followed me. It took me at least 10 months to truly start my GLN and to follow enough people to make Twitter worthwhile.
  • Recently I have seen companies charging educators to establish a GLN on twitter for them! Cheekily asking hard-working educators for their money to do something that is extremely simple and cost-free!

So I decided to establish a twitter list (how to do this here) of 250 educators who are worth following, that will kickstart an educators GLN and lead you to opening up the brilliant world of twitter as CPD. This is FREE and most of the educators will follow you back (as long as you have a twitter bio that states that you are an educator) . There is no monetary gain for me-only the satisfaction that if you use this list, that I have helped you on an incredible journey that I started 5 years ago.

So open this link https://twitter.com/Ideas_Factory/lists/follow-these-edufolk-1st  to my list of global educators (admittedly heavily UK centric) and follow these instructions.

Click on members   image and follow!

A few more things-

Try @batttuk (Bring a Teacher to Twitter) brilliant website as a first port of call if you are new to Twitter.

If you want to know when you first started on twitter-try the excellent Twopcharts How long on Twitter website.

If you’d like to see how you can download and access all your tweets-this fantastic ‘how to’ guide by Aaron Lee shows you how.

Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"
  • Lois Lindemann @MoreThanMaths

    The list is a brilliant idea Julian. I remember signing up to Twitter, then not being sure what to do next. I was lucky because a couple of people who I had encountered in Blogland found me and started conversations.There were also several total strangers who were very welcoming to a newbie EduTweeter who was still finding her way.

    I think having a list of suggestions for people to follow is really helpful, because great as Twitter is, it’s hard to get started. Once you have a network of people to talk to, it is an amazing resource. Building that network can be a bit daunting – your list will make that task much easier.

    Actually it’s not just for new people – I’m also looking forward to finding some interesting people to follow on it.

About me
UK Primary School Future Learning Technologist.I am into Experience and Fun Based Learning.I use web tools to stimulate writing. I've been Playing and Learning since 1970. Have some fabulous ideas now & again.. Check out my about.me profile!
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