My first active adventure with online communities was when I started to explore Twitter. Yes, I have a Facebook account, and a blog and a wiki that I use at school, and I do podcasting, however I only used these for personal reasons or to publish professional information related to what I do at my school. These were initially (and in many cases still are) used as tools for one-way communication.
I soon saw through Twitter that this communication could easily become a two-way street. There’s information that I share (my tweets that I share with my followers) and information that I get from my followers. The scope of my tweets is to communicate, as a professional librarian and as a teacher, information and observations relevant to my profession. When I look at those that I follow, these tend to be other librarians, libraries, professional organizations, teachers, and authors and they provide me with news, information, and observations to support my professional and personal learning needs.
While I do use hashtags as part of my posts, I have not yet gotten into the habit of regularly following specific tags. This is probably because of the school filter. Should I find something relevant that I wish to share with a teaching colleague at work, then I need to figure out how to de-Twitter it first. My personal learning for this module will be exploring hashtags and programs like Tweet Deck (I’ve heard several tweeters talk favorably about it).
In the mean time, I continue to explore how to use these technologies from both the professional learning, instructional delivery, and student learning perspectives, and to engage others in the school community about how these tools can be used within K12 education.