Teachers use technology to connect online, with peers, experts and communities.

This Thing will help you connect with NZ education online communities to share ideas, ask questions and stay up to date on the latest trends in education.

Hear how teachers can use social media to connect in this video of Suzie Vesper at Core Education.


Twitter  is a social networking service that lets you read and send short 140-character messages called tweets

It’s like virtual staffroom where you can find resources, get and give advice. You can search for topics of interest.

#edchatNZ is a great way for NZ teachers to meet virtually on Twitter fortnightly on Thursdays 8.30pm  during term time. Find out about edchatNZ and see founder, Danielle Myburgh describe the aims in the video below:

Enabling e-Learning Twitter slow chat offer a week-long chat within Twitter. These facilitated discussions run from Monday through to Sunday with a new question posted each week day (no questions in the weekend, but the discussion can continue). You can respond to the questions and follow along with the discussion using the hashtag #eelslow.  The first chat started on Monday 14 March.  For more information about the slow chat, have a look at Twitter slow chats.

Teacher and blogger Craig Kemp has made this useful guide Mr Kemp: 10 Steps to Creating the Perfect Educational Twitter Account.

Alec Couros explains how to use Twitter effectively in the classroom below

Twitter provide this step-by-step guide for signing up to Twitter.

Online Learning Communities

Collaborating through discussion in professional online communities is how many NZ teachers, school leaders, and facilitators connect, share experiences, and learn together.

Some examples of online learning communities include:

The Virtual Learning Network (VLN), He kōtuinga ako ā-ipurangi, where you can use the The Learning Exchange and/ or  VLN Groups to connect.

In the video below, Josie Woon, Assistant Principal at Takaro School, talks about how and why she uses the Virtual Learning Network.

Pond was a portal for NZ educators to share lesson plans and resources. You can follow other educators, share content, opinions and feedback. Faculty student teachers are welcome to join.

Teachmeetnz, lead by teacher, Sonya van Schaijik, offers a virtual way for New Zealand teachers to reflect on, record and share learning. They use a wikisite, Google Hangouts and Twitter.

ECE Online is a learning community hosted by CORE Education. It is open for everyone to access, read and contribute to, so that a wealth of resources is built for early childhood education.

Te Kete Ipurangi (TKI) has a communities feature which includes a number of mailing lists that you can join. Mailing lists are a great tool for sharing information and views on relevant topics  with the posts going straight to your email inbox. A few of the more popular ones are listed below:

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For this Thing, start to build your own Professional Learning Network (PLN) and connect with one or more of the online learning networks available to you.

Join Twitter and share something about #23teaching.

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Top 100 Twitter Tools for Educators starts with a great section on some tools that can be used to take control of your feed, schedule posts, and manage followers. Many teachers in NZ use TweetDeck or Hootsuite.

The Global Digital Citizen Foundation offers a downloadable Twitter-Tastic Teacher’s Guide which includes resources for developing your Professional Learning Network (PLN).

10 ways teachers can use Twitter for professional development by Educational Technology and Mobile Learning outlines how to use Twitter to connect with the wider educational community.

Todd Nesloney explains why he thinks teachers should connect online in his blog.

Edutopia have some 5 great tips for new teachers who want to become connected educators and the Five-minute film festival: Twitter in education  has a list of videos showing how Twitter can be used to create a network of educators.

Josie Woon talks about the potential of Enabling e-Learning community groups to impact on teacher practice.



Header image: NetMapper / FlickrCC BY NC 2.0
Icons: Everaldo Coelho and YellowIcon / GNU Lesser General Public License

This post is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License.

23 Teaching Things is by Lucie Lindsay and Bronwyn Edmunds at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Education and Social Work.

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