Category Archives: Twitter

Twitter: hopkinsdavid / David Hopkins

Where would I be without Twitter?

[Read this next bit as though it's a well known Sinead O'Conner song]

It’s been 5 years, 30 days, and 53 minutes since my first tweet. Here is it:

Twitter: hopkinsdavid / David Hopkins

In that 5 years, 30 days, etc. I’ve made nearly 25,000 tweets. Admittedly not all of them are relevant, interesting, insightful, funny, or worth repeating, but some of them have been. Some of them have been ideas, sharing, conversations, photos, jokes, people I’ve met or places I’ve been, books or journals I’ve read, etc. Some are re-tweets (RT), mentions, replies, etc. And some are just banal observations for no other reason than Twitter was available and somewhere I can put a random thought, observation, rant, or other piece of useless information.  Continue reading

Learning Technologist collaboration research project: Loughborough College and the University of Leicester

Learning Technologist collaboration research project #LTFE #LTHE

Learning Technologist collaboration research project: Loughborough College and the University of Leicester

I am pleased to be involved in a project with Geraldine Murphy and Rachel Challen from Loughborough College which looks to explore the identity of a Learning Technologist through the “analysis of language”.

Project outline
According to the Association of Learning Technology the definition of Learning Technology is defined as this; “Learning technology is the broad range of communication, information and related technologies that can be used to support learning, teaching, and assessment.” Learning Technologists are then “the people who are actively involved in managing, researching, supporting or enabling learning with the use of learning technology.”(ALT 2010)

However, to those working in eLearning, on a daily or ad hoc basis, the explanation doesn’t seem to be as clear cut and there has to be a continual explanation of the job role and the skills, experience and knowledge the role of a Learning Technologist demands. Continue reading

Twitter David Hopkins

Twitter, updated

Twitter David Hopkins

I have been on Twitter for nearly 5 years now, using my @hopkinsdavid handle/username.

In this time I’ve amassed nearly 6700 followers and am currently following just over 1300 accounts – I don’t call them people as some are ‘corporate’ or ‘organisational’ accounts. Many of those I do follow are individuals who are like me and are working in some form of education, as either learning technologists, instructional designers, etc. or are thought leaders, provokers, or game-changers who investigate and challenge the educational establishments to improve ourselves and the world we’re leaving the next generation.

Continue reading


Alec Couros: Using Twitter Effectively in Education

An excellent introduction for Twitter and teachers or educators, from Alec Couros:

“Since then [2007] I’ve seen this huge growth of teachers really adopting Twitter and using it for amazing purposes. For the most part when you see good practice on Twitter you’re seeing, first of all, teachers develop a personal learning network (PLN) over a long period of time, so they find people who are interesting, who are leaders, whether they are admin people, whether they are subject area specialists, whether they are teachers from a broad spectrum. And it’s not just teachers who are located close, it is teachers from all aspects of the world.”

“Through the use of Twitter teachers are able to connect, see better practice, see what other teachers are doing and share lesson plans, and teachers are doing it in a lot of different ways.”

YouTube: Using Twitter effectively in education – with Alec Couros

Who gives a tweet? Evaluating microblog content gives us an insight into what makes a valuable academic tweet

What makes a ‘valuable’ academic tweet? #edtech

So, you can make a tweet that people will (statistically) read, re-tweet, reply, share, save, or ignore, and here’s the proof.

If, like the original article suggests, you are an academic using twitter for academic use (and many do, successfully) then there are a few ‘styles’ of tweets that you need to be aware of, and how your audience, your network, your PLN (Personal Learning Network), will view them.

“Broadly, we found that a little more than a third (36 per cent) of tweets were considered worth reading, while a quarter were not worth reading at all. (39 per cent elicited no strong opinion). Despite the social nature of Twitter, current mood, activity or location tweets were particularly disliked, while questions to followers and information sharing were most worthwhile.”

PS. it’s quite a small graphic so I’ve enlarged it slightly, hence the fuzzy writing/outlines.

Who gives a tweet? Evaluating microblog content gives us an insight into what makes a valuable academic tweet

Image source and original article: LSE – Who gives a tweet?

The article highlights the following tweet behaviours:

  • Tweets emphasising real-time information, old news, or even links that were fresh this morning, can be annoying. Continue reading

Anatomy of a Tweet

A beginners guide to a ‘tweet’

For those who are new to Twitter (and those not) a ‘tweet’ can be a confusing thing. So, reproduced from EdTEchSandyK‘s website is the ‘anatomy of a tweet’:

Anatomy of a Tweet
EdTechSandyK: How to Decode a Tweet

Does that explain it? No, then how about this?

  • When you say something on Twitter … that’s a Tweet.
  • You have 140 characters for your tweet, and that includes spaces, hyphens, quote marks, links, etc.
  • Your tweet is seen by everyone on Twitter and on the Internet … but only if they know you or search for something you said.
  • You can follow people, and they can follow you. By following someone their tweets will appear in your timeline.
  • Continue reading

Reading: “Experience of developing Twitter-based communities of practice in higher education”

Research in Learning Technology

Lewis, B. and Rush, D. 2013. Experience of developing Twitter-based communities of practice in higher education. In Research in Learning Technology 2013, 21: 18598 –

“This article presents the results of a case study of the use of a microblogging tool by a university academic to increase their knowledge and experience of social media for educational purposes. The academic had the role of digital steward in a university and attempted to use microblogging (Twitter) to increase professional contacts within the framework of a community of practice. Several types of data were collected and analysed. These included the structure of the network arising from the links formed with others by microblogging, the similarity of stated interests between the academic and others in the network, and the contents of postings such as their external references. It was found that a personal network had been established, with some of the characteristics of a community of practice. The activity demonstrated the utility of social media in supporting the professional development of academic staff using technology.”


Academic Excellence in 140 Characters

This video, “Academic Excellence in 140 Characters”, follows the research of Ray Junco (@reyjunco) and his students on the effects of Twitter on student engagement and grades:

“Despite the widespread use of social media by students and its increased use by instructors, very little empirical evidence is available concerning the impact of social media use on student learning and engagement. This study provides experimental evidence that Twitter can be used as an educational tool to help engage students and to mobilize faculty into a more active and participatory role.”

YouTube: Academic Excellence in 140 Characters

Thanks to Edutopia for this and many more excellent Twitter / Video resources.

Twitter tips every teacher should know about

Twitter Tips we should all know, and care, about #edchat

I use Twitter a lot. Perhaps too much. I, like many others, have learned the hard way about hashtags, avatars, profiles, “tweetiquette” (or ‘twettiquette’), URL shorteners, keeping it real, keeping it professional, keeping it polite (well, I do), etc. Someone coming to Twitter now, all fresh and eager to get stuck in, might find it hard to find their own voice in the noise that the rest of us are making.

This infographic is a good start – share this around the office and the rest of your network (real-space or virtual) and help them get accustomed to the world of Twitter without falling in to the bad habits the rest of us have found:

Twitter tips every teacher should know about
“Twitter tips every teacher should know about”

Handy hints like those below could help newbies find their feet quickly and start to benefit from the Twitter conversations that the rest of us are already enjoying:

  • Include your website/blog link in your profile
  • Think ‘networking event’, it’s OK to greet people, but auto-DMs are not the way
  • It doesn’t have to be perfect, it does have to be you
  • Engage with people outside of your normal friends circle
  • As hard as it might be resist the number-of-followers-game, don’t worry about the numbers: If you tweet good content, they will come
  • Good mix: check your ‘profile’ tab often. Would you follow you?
  • Balance tweets, reply’s, retweets – too much of a good thing is still too much

Above all, share and share alike - attribute work to the original author (they’ll do the same for you and your content, links, etc.) and help others. After all, we were once all new at this, yes?

How Internet Addiction Is Affecting Our Brain (Infographic)

As we get more connected, do we lose focus?

How Internet Addiction Is Affecting Our Brain (Infographic)
How Internet addiction is affecting our brain / Infographic

From the infographic above, “How Internet addiction is affecting our brain”, some of the figures are interesting – “is it a coincidence: as we get more connected, we seem to lose focus?”

  • Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) is a recognised psychological diagnosis in China, Taiwan, and Korea, and expected to be listed in the US next year (and what of the UK?)
  • IAD will be added to the DSM-V (bible of psychology: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed.) with a definition of “preoccupation with the Internet or Internet Gaming” and “Use of Internet to improve or escape dysphoric mood”).
  • Internet ‘addicts’ have 10-20% smaller brain areas responsible for speech, memory, motor control, emotion, sensory input, and other information = brain atrophy.

Being totally open here how many of us have noticed some of the above traits? I have – in recent months I am aware that my memory isn’t as quick as it used to be, I often find myself hunting for the simple word or two that is on the tip of my tongue.  I have just put it down to working too hard, being over-tired (I do have two young children, that’s my excuse), being stressed, etc., but perhaps it’s more than that. Perhaps I’m online too much (and here I am thinking “get off this blog post and go to do something more important instead! Anyone in the UK remember “Why Don’t You?” will remember the theme tune) and perhaps I need to go and find something to do that doesn’t include PC, tablet, phone, Internet, eBook, power lead, etc?

And what of the students? If we start to bring more and more online and social tools and networks into our ‘toolbox’ are we encouraging this kind of degraded ability to think and work? Do we need to consider how (and why) we introduce tools and computer systems to the students if they do or don’t “have” to have them, or do we take the view that as they’re more than likely online anyway we can make the most of that time and direct it properly into academic endeavours?

The BBC commented on the ‘web addicts’ research in that web addicts have “brain changes similar to those hooked on drugs or alcohol” (mind you, this research is based on a group of 35 students – not exactly comprehensive cohort?). This is not something that will go away, research will continue and what will we find?