Critique of Greg Miller’s artefact ‘Using Twitter to grow your PLN’

‘Using Twitter to grow your PLN’ by Greg Miller

Greg artefact 1

This valuable, engaging and interesting instructional video is based on a very relevant subject for educators. Greg has uploaded it to YouTube but also shared the video through Linkis and Twitter which has made it easily accessible. Most educators whether they are completely new to Twitter or have been using this social media tool to follow or connect to others will gain something out of this artefact.

Greg’s voice recording is clear and the background music does not detract from the messages being given. His choice of vocabulary is suitable and complex enough. The style of narration is engaging while being both professional and personable at the same time. The text is minimal enough and easy to read. I liked the use of infographics to explain concepts. The duration of the video was probably at it’s the maximum, considering the message and context.

The video describes a good variety of examples of using Twitter to make connections including areas of leisure, whilst the focus remained firmly on educators. Many specific ideas of different ways educators can connect were described and not just the obvious of following and commenting.

Reaching out to other education professionals on Twitter to gain their ideas and feedback was a fantastic idea. Considering forty responses were collected they were collated and shared well in this artefact.

greg artefact 2

I know that myself as an educator who is connecting more and more each day enjoyed reading and hearing their ideas. Well done Greg on a very interesting, informative and innovative, instructional video.



When is content curation most effective?


Content Curation is most effective when the person is being both a strategist and curator. The person is informed, experienced and can be trusted. They need to have an intention to create a planned digital ecosystem.  In education content curation can be most effective when conducted by a teacher-librarian who knows their school community, curriculum and great tools to use. The teacher-librarian should have a strategy on how their clientele are going to access and use the curated content.

Another line of thought is that when practiced and encouraged a class of students and their teacher collaboratively curating content for a shared learning task could be effective in regards to the students owning  and directing their learning. This process needs to be lead by an educator with a strategy for the digital ecosystem too: even better if they are team-teaching with the school’s teacher-librarian.


The Ideal Content Curation Practice



The question phrased is “Where do you believe the focus should be in curating?  The three aspects of the practice of  content curation in the graphic above are seek, sense and share. I think the focus should be evenly shared across the three aspects to allow for quality curation.  The world needs thoughtful filters.

Rosenbaum’s (2011) three main recommendations for innovative curation  were;

1.listening is more powerful than speaking

2.choose your digital clothing carefully (in other works) what you present digitally to others in your name

3. In a noisy world , customers embrace clarity

The balance of seeking, making sense of and sharing is similar to the social media literacies that work together as described by Rheingold(2010).  .

INF532 students- a knowledge network

The knowledge network I wanted to comment on is the network that has formed via Twitter for the students participating in this subject. The network is usually facilitated by the #INF532. It’s interesting to watch the way participants choose tools to interact. About five years ago whilst completing my teacher-librarianship Masters the students used the universities discussion forums a lot. We still use them, especially when it is dictated but I think we are definitely using social media like Twitter more now to build these knowledge networks.

The tone or behaviours that I am observing, can be described as sharing, mutually motivating, reassuring, reaching out, friendly, with feedback, informal & sometimes more formal when an assessment requires it.

Dynamics and patterns are visible. Interactions often increase when an assessment is looming. A time of need becomes visible and  posts will reach a climax when the task is due.  Some students ask for help and many will respond. Everyone often shares their common experiences : there are often lengthy conversations of 4 or more responses.

This network can be levered when participants share outside the group or if someone’s follower  notices a tweet they want to share.

There is good support between the participants and innovative ideas are shared. Knowledge is built collaboratively that can benefit the whole group.

twitter conversation Capture

Knowledge Networks: establishing and setting purposes.

A ‘Knowledge Network’ can be defined as  “Resources and learning experiences shared among a network of non-profit organizations and colleagues who aim for continuous learning and building of expertise to improve outcomes and increase impact.”(scanpo, 2011)

Knowledge networks should be formed around a specific issue or general set of values. The form of a network should follow it’s function.The network needs to be facilitated by an identifiable co-coordinator. It is built  on relationships and interactions between members. New tools should be used to allow for innovative, collaborative and creative behaviours.

The purpose of the knowledge network needs to be made explicit , objective and justified. The purpose can be long-term, instrumental in achieving goals and /or fluid. When working well it can be part of the connective tissue of a society that allows for organisational innovation and change. Knowledge networks are able to manage knowledge, amplify knowledge, assist with advocacy, build communities, and make resources mobile. Through knowledge networks we want to motivate people who used to be the audience to now start participating.


Hearn, S., & Mendizabal, E. (2011). Not everything that connects is a network. ODI Background note

scanpo. (2011, July). Knowledge network guidelines. Retrieved May 2015, from scanpo:together for good sc association for non profit organisations:

Shirky, C. (2010). Means. In Cognitive surplus: Creativity and generosity in a connected age. (pp. 31-64) New York: Penguin Press.

What pedagogical and content knowledge do you bring to your practice?

The pedagogical and content knowledge I bring to my practice has evolved through my experiences as a Primary school teacher, study and practice as a teacher-librarian( in Primary and now a Secondary school) and currently through more extensive study in knowledge networks and digital innovation. I have strongly valued the way continued education has built up my pedagogical and content knowledge.

The main pedagogical and content knowledge I would draw on regularly is related to:

*social construction of knowledge

*the inquiry process

*Vygostky’s Zone of Proximal Development

*Knowledge building cycle

*evidence based practice

*reading strategies

*Hattie’s effect sizes

*Connectivism as a Digital Age Learning Theory

*Design Thinking

*Knowledge Networks construction and maintenance

*21st century literacies

Some of the References that have resonated with me are

Brown, T. (n.d.). Retrieved from Design Thinking – Thoughts by Tim Brown:

Brown, T. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organisations. Harper Business.

D.School. (2012). Method:How Might We Qustions method. Retrieved 2014, from

Davies, A., Fidler, D., & Gorbis, M. (2011). Future Work Skills 2020. Phoenix: University of Phoenix Research Institute.

Hattie, J., & Yates, G. C. (2014). Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn. Routledge.

Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process in Innovation accerlation: transforming organisational thinking. Boston: Pearson.

O’Connell, J. (2014, June). Preparing for the Impact of Web 3.0. Retrieved June 2014, from SlideShare:

Organisation, V. L. (2013). Feedback in schools by John Hattie. Retrieved October 2014, from Visible Learning Organisation:

Rheingold, H. (2010). Attention and 21st-century social media literacies. Educase review, 14-24.

Siemens, G. (2004, December 12). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved March 31st, 2014, from elearnspace:

Wenger, E. (2006). Communities of practice a brief introduction. Retrieved April 2015, from





‘Beware of Online Filter Bubbles’: an important video to view

Watching the TED talk ‘Beware of Online Filter Bubbles’by Eli Pariser reinforced for me the important role of the teacher-librarian in schools and also network and social media literacy (Rheingold,2010).   As a connected educator I need to be aware of where I sit in the internet, how my choices (of what I am clicking) effect the information I am viewing.  I have noticed regularly on Facebook and Twitter the number of suggested or similar posts come up.

you and internet Capture


The information conveyed by Pariser reinforces too all the warnings we give to students about overusing Google. if they keep on clicking on “junk food ” sites they are going to get more “junk food” sites next search.  Students’s ‘crap detection’ radars are going to have to work double time.

In the last twelve months in my role of as a teacher-librarian I have been using Peartrees to curate sites for topics that are taught.  We then catalogue these collections in our Library catalogue. There has been mostly positive responses to us doing this. A few teachers have complained that the students should find the sites themselves. It is my view that if the student bothers to find the Library’s curated collection and use the sites, its a good thing. The sites can act as a beginning point and may be a lot better than those that are being blocked by their own “filter bubble”. Hopefully my curated collections meet the Pariser’s recommendations for internet sites.

filter bubble important Capture

(Pariser, 2013)

pearltree collection Capture

Pearltree curated collections

Rheingold, H. (2010). Attention and 21st-century social media literacies. Educase review, 14-24.

Module 3.4 Networked Peer Learning

After reading Wenger, McDermott, & Snyder’s (2002). Seven principles for cultivating communities of practice., Topping’s(2005.) Trends in peer learning and Prensky’s (2010) chapter about .Partnering: A pedagogy for the new educational landscape; I created this mind map using the online tool



Topping, K.J. (2005.) Trends in peer learning. Educational Psychology, 25(6), 631–645. Retrieved

Wenger, E., McDermott, R., & Snyder, W. M. (2002). Seven principles for cultivating communities of practice. InCultivating communities of practice: A guide to managing knowledge (pp. 49-64). Boston: Harvard Business School Press. Retrieved CSU ereserve

Prensky, M. (2010). Chapter 1. Partnering: A pedagogy for the new educational landscape. In Teaching digital natives: Partnering for real learning (p. 9-30). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Retrieved CSU ereserve

Learning theories and a personal approach to networked learning as a connected educator

After reading Siemens (2008), Hodgson, McConnell & Dirckinck-Holmfeld (2012) and Wenger (2012) I have identified numerous learning theories that I believe inform my understanding of networked learning pedagogy. These learning theories are social learning theories like Connectivism, social constructivist theory and the idea of a ‘community of practice’.

These theories emphasise the impact of networked structures in the internet linking people and computers in social networks. Siemens (2008) described how today’s technology facilitates the distribution of knowledge, while at the same time allowing us to “project ourselves outward digitally” (de Kerchove, 1997 ,p.38).I think it is important as a connected educator to do this, but it is often harder to project yourself out there than just observing (or lurking as some describe).

Hodgson, McConnell & Dirckinck-Holmfeld (2012) say that most connected educators or “networked learning practitioners” place a high value on

-co-operation and collaboration

-working as part of a group or community

-“discussion and dialogue”

-self-determination of self-motivation during the learning process

-valuing of differences

-trust and relationships

– the investment of one’s self in the networked learning process

– the role that technology plays in connecting.

I would agree that these factors play a major role in the way I act as a connected educator and help others learn about how they to connect and learn more.

Wenger’s (2012) concept of a ‘community of practice’ working together played a major role in the knowledge artefact I developed for the teaching community of my school to encourage them to learn from each other.



Hodgson, V., McConnell, D., & Dirckinck-Holmfeld, L. (2012). Chapter 17: The theory, practice and pedagogy of networked learning. In L. Dirckinck-Holmfeld, V. Hodgson & D. McConnell (Eds.), Exploring the theory, pedagogy and practice of networked learning (pp. 291-305). New York, NY, USA: Springer.

Siemens, G. (2008, September 28). A brief history of networked learning. Retrieved from‎

Wenger, E. (2012). Communities of practice: A brief introduction. Retrieved from

Network Literacy; McClure and Rheingold

McClure( 1994) and Rheingold (2012) both refer to ‘Network Literacy’ in their comments about the development and implications of the internet.  It is great to remember that these comment where made nearly twenty years apart from each other.

McClure was observing the start of a more networked society. His comments are quite simple in comparison to Rheingold’s who has had the opportunity to see the range of the internet grow. McClure focused on a person’s ability to retrieve, manipulate and use the information that they access from the internet.

Rheingold has too mentioned the importance of network literacies, and in particular social media literacies such as attention, participation, collaboration, network awareness and critical assumption (2010). In the videos about network literacy he focuses on the observations of social networks and social capital.  Rheingold and other academics have observed and created formulas that explain how the social value of networks has increased due to the way people can access and interact. This is due to the new tool, apps and infrastructure that have allowed people to form groups.  There has been a cultural and economic shift.

Social capital or as Rheingold describes it; is the ability for people and/ or groups of people to get things done without money or the involvement of an institution. The power of many versions of social media to help people to organise political groups and movements, to draw likeminded scientists together to solve medical research problems, students to form study groups which are accessible 24 hours a day. The possibilities are endless and exponential,  like Reed’s Law describes.