The Twitter experience: The role of Twitter in the formation and maintenance of personal learning networks
Clint Lalonde, Royal Roads University , Canada
Royal Roads University . Awarded
This qualitative phenomenological study involving in-depth interviews with seven educators in k-12 and higher education examines the role that the microblogging service Twitter plays in the formation and development of Personal Learning Networks (PLN) among educators. A double hermeneutic data analysis shows that Twitter plays a role in the formation and development of PLNs by allowing educators to; engage in consistent and sustained dialogue with their PLN, access the collective knowledge of their PLN, amplify and promote more complex thoughts and ideas to a large audience, and expand their PLN using features unique to Twitter. This research also examines the nature of a PLN and shows that participants believe their PLN extends beyond their Twitter network to encompass both face-to-face and other ICT mediated relationships. Secondary research questions examine how Twitter differs from other social networking tools in mediating relationships within a PLN, what motivates an educator to develop a PLN, how trust is established in a PLN, what the expectations of reciprocity are within a PLN, and what is the nature of informal learning within a PLN.
Keywords: Twitter, microblogging, Personal Learning Network, PLN, informal learning
Lalonde, C. The Twitter experience: The role of Twitter in the formation and maintenance of personal learning networks. Master's thesis, Royal Roads University.
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