The Educator's PLN

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Every Friday on Twitter, Tweeters will make recommendations based on their personal experience of exceptional people to follow on Twitter. As an educator, if I follow those recommendations I will almost certainly improve the quality and quantity of tweets I get on education since educators are the people who I follow for my own Personal Learning Network. Each of these tweets of recommendation will be tagged with the telltale hashtag #FF. This identifies them as such a recommendation and allows the hashtagged tweets to be aggregated.

In the evolution of Twitter it has become possible for each tweeter to create lists of people being followed into categories. Lists could be created for math teachers, or Administrators, or organizations. This would allow a tweeter the ability to aggregate tweets from a specific list dealing with a specific area of concern. It is another method of organizing information. These lists may be found in the profile of the Tweeter. A unique spin-off of this is that anyone can access anyone else’s profile giving access to those lists, as well as the ability to follow those very same people. If I have a great person that I follow offering great information, I might access that person’s lists to follow the same people they do. Their specific lists will focus my efforts even more.

Today, ever-trying to share good stuff, I decided to link out what I call “My Stalwart List” on an #FF tweet. It is a list of those, less than 100 people, from my big list of 2,000+ that I follow, who offer me up my best sources of education information. This is my personal Crème de la crème Twitter List. I shared that Link with my 29,000 followers, nice guy that I am. It was that act of sharing that brought my list to the attention of one of my female tweeters, a fact that I never even considered. I must admit to oblivious ignorance on this observation she made. My list was predominantly, male oriented.

How could that be? Of the 83 educators on my Stalwart list, only 23 were women, 28%.  I asked, in a profession dominated by women, why do I have so few on my most influential list? I could understand it if I was dealing only with administrators because that is skewed in favor of men. The percentage of male administrators is not representative of the percentage of males in the education profession. It definitely exceeds it. Is it that Twitter itself appeals to males more than females? Could it be that women offer information more sparingly than men do? Could women be more passive when it comes to engagement in discussion on Twitter?

When I made my list up, my only consideration was who provided the most and best information and sources to me on Twitter. I never considered male or female, only tweeter. Do differences in men and women display themselves in the way each approach Twitter (The Venus and Mars debate)?

Thanks to Jennifer Borgioli ‏ @DataDiva I will never look at these lists the same. My #FF recommendation would be to follow her. She does vigorously promote gender awareness. The next big thing should be Educators of color on Twitter. Are they truly represented in the numbers that offer an equal share in the Social Media discussion on Education? I think not!

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