Have You Tweeted Today?
It was John Ridley’s commentary on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition last spring that made me realize Twitter has gotten a bad rap—and it is Twitter’s own fault.
“What are you doing?” is the question that pops up
when you sign in to Twitter. And that very question has
led to much mockery. In Ridley’s piece, “Keep Your Tweets
to Yourself,” he asks, “Does valuable broadband space need
to be taken up with announcements in that creepy Facebook third-person-ese that ‘John is enjoying two-for-one
margaritas with the rest of the IT Team at T.G.I. Fridays?’ ”
Twitter is much maligned by those who don’t get it.
Perhaps those who don’t get it, including many educators,
should read Will Richardson’s blog post, “A Cocktail Party
Filled with Educators.” Richardson writes the post from
the perspective of a fictitious tweeting administrator explaining why using Twitter is a good thing:
You can follow education experts on Twitter and learn
from their links and their conversation. You can converse with people much smarter than you—well, I can,
at least—and they’ll respond. You don’t need to know
them, you don’t need a fancy title, you don’t need an
introduction. You simply need to ask a question. How
cool is that?
Although the post was aimed at administrators, it got
enthusiastic responses from several teachers:
Not enough hours in the day, how can I fit it in, and
what will I stop doing to make room for this new
thing—those are the comments/questions I hear most
often when talking with educators about participatory
media. Your fictitious administrator had just the right
response. It’s worth saying again: “Any educator who
says they don’t have time to do these things is working
on the wrong things.” —Robin Heyden
It would be like an all-day professional development.
We could have constant collaboration, we could have
instant feedback on how to carry out lessons, we could
instantly share what we’ve learned at a conference. You
could be instantly informed, or you could instantly
share any “a-ha” moments. —Salamah
Educators need to get with the times. We need to become more tech savvy and in the know about media
that our students are utilizing (Facebook, Twitter,
We need to become more tech savvy and in the
know about media that our students are utilizing
(Facebook, Twitter, You Tube) to better reach and
connect with them.
You Tube) to better reach and connect with them.
Twitter is fascinating and offers a lot. The more I do
it, the more efficient I become, and I do enjoy getting
assistance from my students when my knowledge falls
short. —Amanda D. Brown
Beth Still promotes Twitter every chance she gets on her
blog, Nebraska Change Agent. But it’s not easy to win over
colleagues, she admits.
I am still trying to sell the idea to my coworkers who
still won’t bite. In fact, a couple of them believe that
all of the digital connections that we are making are
having a detrimental effect on society. I could not
disagree more. I have connected with some amazing
educators, and I have had the chance to participate in
some really cool things.
Richardson has advice for those still on the fence:
Assume nothing, because, most likely, all of your assumptions will be wrong. Social media is easy. If you
find it’s not easy, I assure you most of your students can
help you. That’s what I do. Make no judgments about
any service until you’ve tried it yourself. Find people you know and follow them. Find people you
don’t know but who live near you or who do what
you do and follow them. Jump in. Give it longer
than a weekend before you decide
if it’s good or bad. Be yourself
and be engaging.
Nebraska Change Agent, “Are We Too
NPR Morning Edition, “Keep Your Tweets
to Yourself”: www.npr.org/templates/
Webblogged, “A Cocktail Party Filled
with Educators”: http://weblogg-ed.
Diana Fingal is the senior editor for L&L. She has been writing for and editing periodicals for more than 20 years.