Couples Twittering for Education- Phil and Jo Hart

Part I of Couples Twittering for Education

In 2010, Twitter’s future seems uncertain. I am concerned with this news, because Twitter is my major source of communication and engagement with other educators. According to Bill Heil and Mikolaj Piskorski of the Harvard Business Review, a study showed that  10% of Twitter users accounted for over 90% of tweets. The article concluded that Twitter is more of a “one-way, one-to-many publishing service more than a two-way, peer-to-peer communication network.” However, I believe that educators are challenging these results and have made Twitter a strong tool for peer-to-peer communication.

Several of us are really passionate about Twitter that we have convinced our better halves to tweet with us!  I was really fascinated to see in my Twitter stream a few couples who tweet about education. I was fortunate that two couples I have grown close to and who are dear friends agreed to let me interview them about the ins and outs of tweeting as a couple.  This interview is the first of many interviews I will be doing with educators. I warn you now that I laughed quite a bit in the interview but did do many edits.

Interview with Phil and Jo Hart

Jo & Phil Hart

Background Information: Phil and Jo Hart, who tweet from Australia, are best known for their weekly Elluminate sessions. Each week you can find them providing free webinars for educators on Thursdays, 23:00 GMT / 6pm EST. Every other week is a serendipity session where you can propose topics you would like to learn about.

BlogsE-verything by Jo Hart, A Techie’s View by Phil Hart
Twitter names@PhilHart, @JoHart

Listen to the 9 minute audio interview here: Phil and Jo Hart Interview

Interview Highlights:

  • Both have been tweeting for a little over a year.
  • They were inspired by Sue Waters to keep tweeting.
  • Both tweet from their desktops in the same room, desks back to back.
  • Yes they tweet each other, especially if they are exchanging information from work or need to remind each other of everyday to-do tasks, or to tweet each other links they want to share. They use it in place of e-mail.
  • They both have laughed at tweets from each other and and were sometimes irritated by tweets from each other.
  • They both agree Twitter is an effective way to debate, because people have to focus on structuring their arguments in 140 characters and this leaves room for both parties to get a word in. In real life debates, usually one person does the arguing and no one listens to the other person’s argument.
  • I liked this quote from Phil:

Twitter is being miss sold.

  • I liked this quote from Jo:

That’s one of the great things about Twitter that we all use it in our own way.

I had a great time interviewing Jo and Phil Hart. Next, you can look forward to my interview with Eric and Melissa Sheninger.

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How do you use Twitter? Do you agree that Twitter is a good way to debate educational issues?

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell),, and on her blog,, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at


    • The feeling is mutual! I and I think I can speak for Phil also in feeling that you are a close friend. The learning is also very much two-way, I have learned so much from our TweetChats! Twitter is a great “broadener” of perspective.

  1. Everyone else can leave Twitter, but the educators will stay. It provides a wonderful forum for us to share links as well as ideas. We make connections around the world with people who are passionate about education and who want to create the best learning environment for children and adults in the 21st century. 140 characters is perfect to start the conversation and then it moves to forums like this one, where we can expand what we have tweeted.

    I loved listening to the interview. Great idea, Shelly!

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