Connect To The World Through Twitter (Presentation)

Recently, I gave a Keynote for educators new to developing a learning network through Twitter. Please share the following resources with those new to Twitter in order to encourage them to join our passionate educator community. This PRESTO presentation is an updated version of my previous one, How to Build A PLN Using Twitter.

In order to be cutting edge and stay relevant in any career field, we need a Personal Learning Network (PLN)! A PLN consists of individuals who we choose to take part in our professional development. These individuals share resources, exchange ideas with us, offer support, and collaborate with us. Twitter is one of the quickest ways to establish a PLN. However, many educators new to Twitter may not understand how the process works. In the beginning, I used to only update then I discovered how to engage with others in order to build a strong PLN.

Do you have 3 minutes, 20 seconds?

You probably do not have the time to read all the Twitter materials available, but do you have 3 minutes and 20 seconds? In the PRESTO below, I share with you how to connect with educators worldwide using Twitter. A PRESTO, PRESent your TOpic, is a video presentation style created by Heike Philp. The speaker creates a PowerPoint of 10 slides that auto-advance every 20 seconds.

More Resources

by Oliver Widder, Geek and Poke, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 License
by Oliver Widder, Geek and Poke, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 License

Help other educators new to Twitter by sharing these resources through your presentations or workshops:

Share these tools with educators in your school! I’m sure they have 3 minutes and 20 seconds!

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Edublogs 2009 Awards: Inspiration in Education

My blog is relatively new and has become much more than I ever would have expected. I owe this to the various people and organizations I am nominating below for the Edublogs 2009 awards! I have learned by their examples. My knowledge as well as my passion for learning and collaboration I owe to them. Several others not on this list have also been influential.

My Nominations

Best individual blog- Kalinago English, Karenne Sylvester’s blog, has everything a blog needs from passionate posts to technology tips to controversial stances against the injustices in education! I’d also like to nominate Terry Freedman’s ICT in Education blog. He continues to write thought-provoking posts and provides useful tips for educators through his blog and other multimedia channels.

Best individual tweeter- Steven Anderson, @web20classroom, is an incredible representative of what an educator on Twitter should be. He is a close friend. He really cares about education and shares resources as well as helps as many educators through Skype. He does this in addition to working as the technology specialist for 19 schools. @Tomwhitby continues to inspire thought-provoking conversations which proves the 140 character limit is not limiting at all!

Best group blog- The Educator Royal’s Treatment, which is managed by Ken Royal, is a daily stop for me! I anticipate all the posts and have really had some great moments reading the various posts!

Best new blog- Ken Wilson has written one of the most compelling blogs that often reads like a novel. I would also like to include Marisa Constantinide’s blog, which is rich with teaching instruction advice and Tamas Lorincz’s blog which is thought-provoking and makes the educator deeply self-reflect.

Best class blog- Gelincik Grubu is a kindergarten class blog created by teachers in Turkey. They showcase the incredible work the children do which is an inspiration!

Best student blog- Adora Svitak is a 12 year-old prodigy who writes thought-provoking pieces such as how she feels befriending her principal on Facebook to poetry!

Best resource sharing blog-Several of my original posts began with links from Larry Ferlazzo’s blog. Rarely do I go a week without referring to a link within a post I found through Larry! I would also like to include Ozge Karaoglu’s blog, which has become a wonderful source of information to various Web 2.0 tools! Cybraryman also has a great website for nearly every subject imaginable.

Most influential blog post- Burcu Akyol has created one of the most influential blog series for educator’s professional development, Spread Your Knowledge. The Spread Your Knowledge series featured posts written from leading experts. Topics covered include getting published, how to tweet, creating a PRESTO, doing a presentation, blogging, and creating your own educational materials. I would also like to include the post by Scott Mcleod about Leadership Day 2009 which inspired several bloggers globally to blog about effective technology practices on July 12th.

Most influential tweet / series of tweets / tweet based discussion- #Edchat is a discussion which has included over 400 educators, parents, student teachers, and administrators. Through #edchat various educators were able to debate a topic with the incredible education author, Alfie Kohn. I am honored to collaborate on this great project with Tom Whitby and Steven Anderson. I would also include #teachertuesday which is managed by TheEngTeacher who also manages to feed teachers’ blogs on Twitter.

Best teacher blog- Chickensaltash not only shares various resources in his blog, but he also shares how his students collaborate with other schools around the world. Chickensaltash’s work with Cool Earth is inspiring to educators. His work with schools in Peru and his travels as an educator in the rainforest earned him a nomination for the education Oscar’s.

Best librarian / library blog-Library Tech Musings by Gwyneth A. Jones is a treasure trove of web 2.0 tools and technologies for libraries. The blog is also highly visual.

Best educational tech support blog- If I need to know how to use a specific technology I visit David Kapular’s blog, Technology Tidbits: Thoughts of a Cyberhero. David has also published 6 free e-books to explain the various resources in his blog and has developed a wiki dedicated to these materials.

Best elearning blog- Elearning Learning has each of my favorite elearning blogs in one spot.

Best educational use of audio- Breaking News English by Sean Banville has over 1o00 audio files to support over 1000 current events. Each audio file is relevant, interesting, has supportive text, and exercises to accompany it! Moreover, Sean has pair activities for each lesson and even asks educators what news they would like him to do an audio file and lesson for!

Best educational use of video / visual- Russell Stannard has created several teacher training videos on various websites and nearly every web 2.o tool imaginable! TEFLClips by Jamie Keddie hosts various videos and accompanying lesson plans.

Best educational wiki- Ozge Karaoglu’s wiki reviews several web 2.0 tools in depth, provides excellent uses of Glogster, and showcases the incredible ways she uses web 2.0 tools with children.

Best educational use of a social networking service- The Educator PLN ning was created by Tom Whitby and continues to be one of my favorite places to travel daily to mingle with over 1500 educators! Additionally, Steve Hargadon’s Classroom 2.0 ning is a thriving community of nearly 35,ooo educators.

Best educational use of a virtual world- Edunation, which is currently run by The Consultants-E, is the place educators go to teach lessons, create educational materials, and attend conferences in Second Life. This mass of three virtual islands has been a safe haven for educators and free for all to use. It is also an invaluable source of professional development.

Lifetime achievement- Sue Waters has been the most influential individual in helping me develop my blog this year! All her websites, wikis, blogs, webinars, individual help, and virtual chocolates have helped make me pass the 5 month blogger mark!

New Categories

In the spirit of writing in nominations and candidates, I’m including the following categories and hope these will be accepted or considered as categories for next year. I hope giving awards for these categories will inspire more educational projects in these areas:

Best Blog Series- my nomination is for Burcu Akyol’s Spread Your Knowledge series.

Best Virtual Conference- Heike Philp’s Virtual Round Table Conference had over 400 participants worldwide, 49 guest speakers, and brought together some of the best educational panels and experts for free! Educators even won over 3000 Euros worth of prizes and the entire conference took place online!

Best Example of an Educator Digital Portfolio- Ozge Karaoglu once again has shown what an excellent educator portfolio should look like. I encourage you to read her series on creating your own digital portfolio.

Best Classroom Collaboration Project- Arjana’s high school students from Croatia have made a deep connection with Monika Hardy’s students in Colorado. They even celebrated Thanksgiving together and collaborate frequently on a ning.

Best Webinar- Jo Hart, Phil Hart, Sue Waters, and Stony River bring us great webinars about various educational topics week after week for free! They deserve more than virtual chocolates. How about a virtual award?

Best Blog Carnival- Karenne Sylvester had an impressive blog carnival which included a slideshow of blogs and a poll. The Edge of Education carnival hosted by We Teach, We Learn  was one of my favorites as well with quotes from each blog!

Absolute Best Readers in the World- You!


Make your Edublog Awards Nominations! Which sites and blogs have been influential for you this year?

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Cool Sites & Tools

Every week, I share my favorite finds in this weekly series! Test these tools out. If you want instant access to these fantastic websites connect with me on Google reader!

IGNITE: A New Way to Present

In a previous post, I shared my Pecha Kucha Youtube playlist. I now have added an IGNITE playlist. IGNITE is Tim O’Reilly’s adaption of a Pecha Kucha except the entire presentation is only 5 minutes. I found this IGNITE video, Adapting with Technology, by Mark Argo on the Speed Geek Learning website which was tweeted by Diana Dell. Find more great IGNITE presentations by visiting the Speed Geek Learning website.

PinDax: Online Message Board

Sign-up for the free message board tool, PinDax! This message board service allows you to embed sticky notes with videos and audio files. You can also access your message board on your smartphone or embed it in a blog! Below is the demo board displayed on the website! Have fun exploring! A similar tool to Wallwisher, with a better design and features.


While attending the Virtual Round Table Conference, I learned about Kindersite. Educators and parents can register for free and have access to various tools for young learners learning various languages from English to French. These resources include comic strips, games, lullabies, songs, stories, and more.

Planbook Edu for Creating Online Lesson Plans

PlanbookEdu is a tool for online lesson planning. Register for a the free basic service and have access to the premium service for 30 days! Some of the features include the ability to attach files, check spelling, export to Word or PDF, access from anywhere, and share with others. The template looks very easy to use and I believe this is a great tool to get educators to lesson plan. Each year, educators repeat the same lessons so this tool with additionally save an educator lesson planning time in the long run.

Google Wave Index of Education Waves

Have you got Google Wave fever? I do and have added several people to various education waves. However, you can follow various education waves yourself by visiting the Wave Education Index. There are several waves listed to choose from, including some of my favorites:

Even More Cool Links

  • For a list of cool websites, check out Ozge Karaoglu’s series, Faves of the Week!


Use one of the tools! Leave a comment if you found the tip useful or if you noticed a problem with the tool! Join one of the education waves if you are on Google Wave!

You may want to subscribe for free to receive regular updates, leave a quick comment of how one of these tools helped you, tweet this, or share this series with your Personal Learning Network (PLN) through your RSS reader or Delicious account.

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Attend a Virtual Pecha Kucha

You may have heard about the excitement of a Pecha Kucha event. I had the privilege of attending a live one this past Saturday in Paris at a TESOL conference! I recorded all the presentations on my Youtube Channel. Watch Pecha Kucha presentations by Burcu Akyol, Ken Wilson, Lindsay Clandfield, Gavin Dudeney, Jamie Keddie, and Penny Ur. I laughed and learned so much simultaneously. Pecha Kucha has given breath to conferences that bore you with typical PowerPoint presentations!

What is a Pecha Kucha?

A presentation technique invented in Japan by architects Klein and Dytham. About 14 presenters or less deliver back to back PowerPoint presentations that must total 20 slides auto-advancing every 20 seconds. The PowerPoint presentation is only 6 minutes and 40 seconds so the content is highly visual and meaningful. For this reason, these events are gaining popularity at several conferences and have now entered the education conference scene! Watch Heike Philp‘s Pecha Kucha about a Pecha Kucha to find out more!


You’re Invited!

Do not miss the opportunity to attend the online Pecha Kucha event this Friday within a web conferencing platform! You will see at least 5 presentations back to back from Burcu Akyol, Sean Banville, Neil Chambers, Marisa Constantinides, and me. I will also be moderating the event and I can guarantee you will have an incredible experience. Topics include Twitter, teaching adults English, preventing Twitter Spam, using the the news as a learning tool, and tips to teaching children.


Fri 13 November 2009, 9:30pm GMT

Paris 10:30pm, Dubai 1:30am (Sat), Tokyo 6:30am (Sat), Sydney 8:30am (Sat), Los Angeles 1:30pm (Fri), New York 4:30pm (Fri)

For more information visit this website,

Hope to see you there!

If you like this post, you may want to check out Burcu Akyol’s recap on the TESOL Paris conference!


Attend one of the FREE Virtual Conference events on Thursday or Friday!

What did you think of the Pecha Kucha videos? Leave a comment below!

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Cool Sites: Videos, Wiki Tool, Docs…

Every week, I share my favorite finds in this weekly series! Don’t forget to test these tools out. If you want instant access to these fantastic websites connect with me on Google reader!

Teacher Training Videos

Have you ever wanted to show a video tutorial to your teachers? Have you ever Picture 9needed a video tutorial on the best practices of using a tool? With Russell Stannard‘s site, Teacher Training Videos, you will find a video tutorial on several tools and topics. The videos are categorized into different sections. Now you can take charge of your own professional development or share the website with a teacher new to using technology or teaching English language learners!

Easy Wiki Tool

I love the ability to drag and drop boxes, which is why is the Picture 10fastest and easiest tool to use to create a free wiki! It took me five minutes to sign-up, choose a template, and start dragging and dropping pictures, movies, widgets, and music. The space wiki shown displays the type of quality which can be achieved. I like this tool much more than PBworks and Wikispaces.

Youtube Channel: Pecha Kucha

I have been working on my Youtube Channel and have decided to share it with you. The latest playlist includes Pecha Kucha videos I recorded at the recent TESOL Paris conference. Watch amazing presentations from Lindsay Clandfield, Burcu Akyol, Ken Wilson, Jamie Keddie, Gavin Dudeney, and Penny Ur!  Categories include:

  • Video Tutorials
  • Twitter
  • Education Technology
  • Education Inspirational
  • Pecha Kucha
  • English Lessons

Zoho Integrated with Google

When Zoho first came out, several educators debated which was a better servicePicture 12 Zoho documents or Google Docs. Both tools can be used by students to create PowerPoint presentations, spreadsheets, and word documents. Now, you can use both tools for free, because Zoho allows you to sign-up with your Google account and integrate your Google Docs. Matthias Heil gave me this tip!

Even More Cool Links

  • For a list of cool websites, check out Ozge Karaoglu’s series, Faves of the Week!


Use one of the tools! Leave a comment if you found the tip useful or if you noticed a problem with the tool!

You may want to subscribe for free to receive regular updates, leave a quick comment of how one of these tools helped you, tweet this, or share this series with your Personal Learning Network (PLN) through your RSS reader or Delicious account.

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