Like many others, I tend to reflect at the end of each year on how I had spent the previous 12 months. I think about key experiences, both the good and the bad, and what I have learnt from them. 

For me, 2013 will be etched in my mind as the year I discovered the true meaning of Twitter. 

I signed up to Twitter back in 2009 to follow some celebrities and then forgot all about it. It wasn’t until March 2013, that I decided to create the @PositiveSchool account and started to see the true value of its power as a professional learning tool.

I started by following educators who were following the @PositiveSchool account, and then following a number of the “who to follow” suggestions that Twitter had kindly recommended to me. 

All of the sudden, I was coming across phrases like “Project Based Learning”, “SOLO Taxonomy”, “Genius Hour”, “Flipped Classrooms” so much in my feed, that they became a part of my vocabulary and interests too. 

Then came my first twitter chat, which was #teacherwellbeingchat. At that point, I decided that I no longer wanted to sit idly by and read people’s opinions and resources – I wanted to share my own thoughts with others too!

It did not take long before I got hooked on connecting with hundreds of educators from around the world, exchanging ideas and resources. 

If the Ghost of Christmas Past decided to visit me and show me all the things I would have missed out on if I didn’t go on Twitter this year, the list would include:

1) Hosting #EduTweetOz
2) Visiting (and visitors from) Merrylands East Public School and Merrylands High
3) Going to two TeachMeets in Canberra and one in Sydney
4) Going to the #ACTLearn Engaging Leaders Conference and meeting the incredible George Couros
5) Meeting Ben Duggan and getting involved with the Raising Hope Education Foundation
6) Taking students to the Q&A special with former Prime Minister Gillard
7) Allowing my students to interact and interview the actors from the West End production of A Clockwork Orange 
8) Widening my PLN by hundreds and developing some awesome friendships along the way
9) Starting this blog!

I was really excited when the brilliant teacher-librarian at my school emailed the staff the following news at the end of the school year:

Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013

Always interesting to see the results of the survey by Jane Hart’s Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies (C4LPT) – as voted by 500+ learning professionals from 48 countries.

1. Twitter
2. Google Drive/Docs
3. YouTube
4. Google Search
5. PowerPoint
6. Evernote
7. Dropbox
8. WordPress
9. Facebook
10. Google +

Twitter retained #1 for the 5th year running. Pinterest jumped 14 places to #22. Coursera (MOOC platform) was a new addition at #38.

Analysis: “

I have been trying to persuade many of my colleagues to engage and participate in developing their own PLN on Twitter and now I have the research to back it up! 

It is now 2014, and I look forward to the many more learning opportunities that my Twitter PLN will offer. 

Without further ado, I would like to send a big shoutout my PLN – thank you for motivating me, supporting me and teaching me. 

As some famous magical beings once said:

Because I knew you, I have been changed for good…