I’ve not read more than the abstract so far. But I have added this Masters dissertation by Clint Lamonde entitled “The Twitter experience : the role of Twitter in the formation and maintenance of personal learning networks” (see abstract below) to my dropbox collection of papers for reading on my iPad on long trips!
Having read some of the papers for next weeks #PLEconference in Aveiro and Melbourne, there seems to the the emergence of a great deal of serious research on Personal Learning Environments and Personal Learning Networks. I think this research is important in helping us understand how people are using technology for ICT mediated relationships and informal learning.
I will publish more links to recent papers over the next couple of weeks.
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