What do you call an old person who uses Twitter? A Tweezer! OK, so it was funnier when it was said in a room full of Twitter techies at the 2011 Ohio E-Tech conference. This particular conference presentation was guided by Twitter experts Chris Carmen and Nikki Marchmon.
I was introduced to Twitter a few years ago. At first, I just lurked about trying to see what this tool was all about. One hears tales about Twitter; how it is just people saying whatever pops into their head in 140 characters. Meaningless fluff sort of stuff. Well, I had to see for myself, and what I found was a gold mine.
What I found were educators from all over the world collaborating and lending support to each other. They were asking questions and finding answers. They were sharing ideas and concerns. They supported one another in times of frustration and in times of celebration. I’m grateful for the connections I’ve made through Twitter; Shannon Miller, Jabiz Raisdana, and hundreds of other educators who are passionate about educational technology. Through them I’ve learned about new technologies and how they are used with our students. Twitter has been a fantastic professional development tool.
I believe that no matter what the technology, there has to be a way that educators can incorporate them in the classroom in meaningful ways. Here is a list of some sites that show how some people are using Twitter as a teaching tool. I’ll be adding more to my Livebinder as I find them.
Today I began the teacher challenge hosted by Edublogs. I’ve tried blogging a few times, but it never really took hold with me. My greatest challenge was finding something to write about. Now, it’s true that I have my opinion like everyone else; it’s just that I’m not a writer by nature. I much prefer the short and quick conversations of Twitter. The introspective nature of blogging is not my cup of tea. I have set up a blog for my office, but it is more of an information board than a discussion board. This blog is the start of something more substantial.
I’ve explored different blog hosts. They all seem fairly easy to set up and use. For this project I’ve chosen Edublogs. Creating a user name was easy; coming up with the title not so much. It has already undergone several changes. I’ve several reasons for starting a blog at this time. First, I needed a place to keep track of all the technology that I am in the process of exploring. A blog seemed like a good base to keep track of my discoveries. Second, I want to be in a position of guiding teacher education students; it seems that to do this I need to practice what I’m to preach.
One important aspect of setting up a blog is thinking about your reason for writing. You need to have some goal in mind or you’ll find the whole process a bit frightening. I joined this challenge to develop my blogging skills slowly. Too many times I see instructors integrate technology without really taking the time to teach the mechanics of the tool. Immersing myself in this project will really help me to understand the process.