Kelsi's Insight on Education

Twitter- More than its (original) mission statement.

Posted on: July 22, 2010

Isn’t it funny that when Twitter first came out and for a long time after it defined itself as something less complex and actually, quite shallow compared to what it really could be and in many cases, it really was. When arriving at the homepage of Twitter it used to state a question, “What is Twitter?” The website then explained Twitter as, “…a service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?

Well, that is ONE way to use Twitter and that’s the way that some of its users chose to use it. But, that statement doesn’t explain the service in its complete and complex form. … Though maybe it’s not ‘funny’… It’s more than likely, just like all things that we, as educators do- analyze, evaluate, create and share new and innovative ways to teach our students. Similar to the saying, that English teacher’s think/analyze books three times more than the authors do themselves. That’s all that we are doing with Twitter… reinventing the wheel that was given to us.

More recently… Twitter has changed their homepage to state, “Discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world”… it explains Twitter as a rich source of instant information. “Stay updated. Keep others updated. It’s a whole thing”. It also links to Twitter 101, which is a guide for those that are using Twitter for business purposes. Twitter has updated their original mission statement and is keeping up with the movement and trend that it probably didn’t realize it would be, when the website first started out.

Another article explains Twitter as a big noisy teacher’s lounge. Everyone is talking (texting) at once. Then someone might share a conversation with one or two teachers in the lounge, and catch fragments of other conversations around them (Teaching Village). I liked this analogy…. Though I wanted to expand upon it. Sometimes, during lunch conversation in the teacher’s lounge, a topic comes up where most or all participants are part of. There may be laughter or short, jabbing comments, maybe even insightful pieces of information and advice shared. That is when collaboration and true collectivism happens. This reminds me of when people tweet a link, with a few words of explanation… where then others following click on the link and bookmark it for later, retweet it and share with others, or use or make a comment on the article/blog that is posted. This is when the conversation comes alive and in real time, too.  Again, just ANOTHER way to utilize Twitter.

One of the highlights of this week’s class, for me, was when I was reading the NEA Article – Can Tweeting Help Your Teaching? and came across a quote from Chris O’Neal. “Twitter is a great way to keep your students thinking after class,” says Chris O’Neal, an instructional technology coordinator in Charlottesville, VA. “You can tweet a quick provocative question about a social studies lesson, for example, that will keep their brains active.” Chris is actually one of the first educator’s that I began to follow on Twitter. I heard him speak at the 2010 Education Leadership Conference, hosted by the RIU6 this past May.

So keep up the great work educators, as I don’t believe we will stop analyzing, evaluating and creating more ways to utilize Twitter and other Web 2.0 tools, anytime soon. Nor, do I feel that we should stop!


1 Response to "Twitter- More than its (original) mission statement."

Great post, Kelsi. I love the way you expanded on my teacher’s lounge analogy!

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