"You can be in a department with 20 other people, but you can be the only one doing as much learning as you can, and feeling like the only weirdo in the group," Ms Simons said. "Going on Twitter, you find all the other weirdos, who are just as interested in learning as you are."
The surveyed teachers appreciated the ability to exchange resources online, as well as to point one another towards useful articles or blogs. And several mentioned using social media to crowdsource lesson plans. Online chats were also popular.
In addition, social media allows teachers access to experts in their fields. "We've talked to several authors on Twitter," one primary teacher said.
Ms Simons has seen this, too. "Something that's really powerful is the hierarchy-free element of Twitter," she said. "You have conversations based on what you're interested in, what you know and who you get on with. To have communication where all the guff is taken out the middle - it's very empowering to all involved."
The academics conclude that local authorities should consider ways in which they can use, and learn from, teacher activity online. Use of Twitter, they suggest, could potentially count as official CPD.
"School leaders might also.embrace the qualities of Twitter CPD that our respondents valued, such as immediacy, personalisation, differentiation, community and positivity," they write.
`Let people take control of their learning'
US teacher Tom Whitby, one of the founders of twice-weekly Twitter group #edchat, believes that Twitter has highlighted a key failing in conventional CPD.
"There's a big difference between adult learning and child learning," says Mr Whitby, who has nearly 60,000 Twitter followers. "Adults want to learn something one day and use it the next.
"But, for decades, professional development has involved teaching adults like children: you put them in rows and you lecture them. People are looking for something else and Twitter is filling that void.
"Twitter fits into the model of adult learning much better than previous forms of professional development. People like taking control of their own learning."