Twitter a different conversation

Twitter.comLast week while at the Second Life ISTE social hour someone brought up Twitter and “I don’t get it.”

So I took it upon myself to try and explain what makes Twitter so….should I say addicting.

I tried…and failed horribly, but it has had me thinking these past couple days, what is it about Twitter that makes it so interesting.

Twitter is kind of a mash up of blogging and instant messaging I’ve decided. It has the conversation feel of a blog conversation as people post links, talk about what they are working on in their schools, or personal lives, and allows for a asyncroness conversation to take place. It has the feel of IMing because you choose your friends, post in short 140 character bursts and the use of symbols such as @ and D are used to continue a conversation with one or more people.

I have found Twitter useful on many occasions when I’m looking for help or am stuck on a project. Earlier this year my Twitter network helped me through my troubles with Moodle. Yesterday I send a twit help for presentation topics for the k12online conference (presentations are do June 18th). My Twitter network kicked into action and within 20 minutes I had 4 great ideas of things I could present on. If I would have blogged about it I would have had to wait for people to check their RSS feeds and respond, if they had time, and offer suggestions. I could have IMed people but Twitter let me ask my 60 friends with one message. Those that wanted to respond did, those that couldn’t help go one their marry way.

Twitter is another conversation…different, interesting, and I think allows you to get to know people on a different level. I learn about son and daughter baseball games, who likes to BBQ, and who has playground duty this week. Of course I keep my twit friends up to day on Mariner scores. 🙂

I understand that Twitter is not for everyone. But I am finding it increasingly helpful. I don’t have a twitter badge on my blog because I feel as though it’s a separate conversation that doesn’t really add to my blog in any way.

Because of this asyncroness man- to-one conversation that Twitter allows there are some very interesting ways to use it. I am looking forward to using it in our upcoming Learning 2.0 conference in Shanghai, and am thinking of a way that we might be able to use it as a technology department next year. We are 8 people across 6 schools on two campuses 2 hours apart. It might be interesting to see if something like Twitter would allow us to stay in contact, help each other out, and improve our communication.

With being able to use it on your cell phone I can picture some uses for it in the classroom as well. With kids able to answer questions via a text that appears on a teachers twitter account. You would have the name of the student, their answer and be able to give them personal feedback with a direct twit.

These networks that allows many-to-one communication are going to continue to grow in popularity I reckon, as we continue to want to stay connected and want different conversation vehicles. Anyway you slice it many-to-one communication can work in the classroom. After all isn’t that what a teacher does on a daily bases?

My Twitter account


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