Feb 11, 2009

Miles Berry

Given the increasing interest in Twitter amongst educators, and indeed the general population, it’s hardly surprising that a number of teachers are starting to explore ways of using this in class, with ideas including collaborative storytelling, gathering feedback, home-school links, e-penpals and word games (see, eg Tom Barrett’s colaborative presentation). The sort of personal learning network which we see people developing through Twitter in their professional lives is certainly something which many students would undoubtedbly benefit from, although, as with much social networking technology, there are challenges here for purposing micro-blogging towards educational rather than social ends, as well as the obvious e-safety issues associated with children’s participation in the open web. is an open source, web-server{.glossary-term} based implementation of a micro-blogging platform. It offers one possibility for experimenting with, and, I’d hope, making the most of the opportunities which microblogging opens up, in way which it is relatively easy for schools or local authorites to monitor and control. By using open standards{.glossary-term}, such as RSS and XMPP, allows a degree of integration with other open source platforms like Moodle{.glossary-term}, Elgg{.glossary-term}, Drupal{.glossary-term} and Jabber ‘out of the box’, and through its support of Twitter’s API also allows users to access it through a large number of supported Twitter clients. Hosting it on a school’s webserver would further facilitate single sign on with Moodle et al, well with a little technical php{.glossary-term}/sql work for the time being.

You can try out from a user’s perspective at , or download the latest version to install on a webserver of your own from