My Masters thesis (the full title is The Twitter experience: the role of Twitter in the formation and maintenance of personal learning networks) is now publicly available in the DSpace archives at Royal Roads University.
Here is the abstract:
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.
It has been on the site for just over week now and I was holding off to post this until the RRU thesis office could correct the typo in the title (all fixed) I noticed that people have started making reference to it (thank you, Dan), so thought I should get something up here.
Other than the spelling mistake, one glaring oversight on my part is the lack acknowledgments, so if you will indulge me I want to publicly acknowledge some people.
First, to the 7 participants in the study, thank you for your time, your voices and your stories. This was not a “spend 10 minutes filling out a survey” type project, and I appreciate your graciousness and generosity as participants.
To my thesis supervisor, Bill Muirhead – a calming presence who was always there when I needed him, his steady hand guided me through the process. I feel extremely fortunate to have him as a mentor.
To my PLN (and you know who you are but if you don’t here’s a big hint – you are reading this right now). You feed my head with the best stuff. Thanks.
To my co-workers at both Camosun College and Royal Roads University, specifically Susan Chandler (Camosun) and Mary Burgess (RRU) who’s support and understanding cleared many non-thesis related hurdles away from my path during this project.
Finally, to my family; Maggie and Graeme, who missed their Dad a lot during the whole Masters journey (yes, Graeme, Dad is finished his see-ssus). I know a trip to Disneyland won’t make up for all this missed weekends, but I suspect it might help :). And to my wife, Dana. No one has had to wear the extra burden of this project more than her, and I feel truly blessed to have someone as supportive as her in my life.