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In your best Steve Tyler: “Tweeeeeeet E-Moe-Shun” | Ecology of Education

In your best Steve Tyler: “Tweeeeeeet E-Moe-Shun”

20080118-confusing-street-signjpgOne hundred forty characters, times 100 people, times 10 posts per day, and multiplied by the number of pages on the internet (at least 7), equals Unlimited Possibilities for professional development at best and mundane hyperactivity bordering on incoherence at worst.  Twitter can be both and neither.

The truth is, on the surface, Twitter sounds pretty lame: update your status over and over and over and over with 140 characters (or less) day after day.  Do I really want to know that JRHogan is sitting at the longest red light, ever? Not really.  Am I curious if AMorse just finished her second peanut butter and jelly sandwich?  No.  I don’t care. In fact, I don’t want to know.

tweetdeck full of such drivel could lead to a violent, systemic social-networking allergic reaction.  Quick, someone hit me with an epi-pen and send me outside.

However, after discovering the potential of Twitter as a professional development tool during the ASCD annual conference this year, I’m officially in the first stage of falling in love: enamored high. (I know they’ll be other stages, but for now, ahhh, sweet delight).

Back in the stone ages I took notes with paper and pen during conferences and visited one session at a time. Twitter introduced me to conferencing on Crack.  With a simple keyword search I could follow three, four, or five sessions at once, making connections between ideas, themes, and concepts.  Plus, professionally minded twitter-ites tended to embed url’s in their posts, which lead to numerous new ancillary avenues to investigate.

Tweeting, when used as such, becomes a professional development exploration-on-steroids, amped with a shot of espresso, and blended together with a frothy mix of succinct wit and valued collaboration.  For idea junkies, it quickly becomes addictive.

Here is a small smattering of sites I’ve been introduced to thanks to tweets from twitterers:

Thats just a small sample culled from about 4 days in tweet-time, and I only follow about 30 tweet-meisters.

Are all the sites helpful?  Heck no.  Are some of them?  Heck yeah!   Is it possible to end up following a dead-end lot of self-absorbed drivel distributors? Sure, if you collect haphazardly. No, if you’re selective.

The bottom line is that Twitter has the potential to open new doors to research, resources, and collaborative relationships, doors that might have otherwise remain hidden behind the mysterious veils of you’re-using-the-wrong-key-words-in-your-google-search or how-could-you-know-it-was-there-if-you-didn’t-know-it-was-there sort of conundrum.

As with any tool, it is one that can be used, misused, or abused depending on the user, but if utilized well it has the potential to be a very powerful — as a search engine, source of ideas, or simply a place to meet and collaborate with other like-minded professionals.

The funny thing is that I find I’m becoming attached to my merry band of tweet-sters.  I look forward to the questions, reflections, and suggestions of people I only know by their bite-size bits of beta.

Want to know more: David Pogue’s Twitter Experiment, The Twouble with Twitters, and Twitter dictionary

Photo source: Saituri

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5 Responses to “In your best Steve Tyler: “Tweeeeeeet E-Moe-Shun””

  1. March 31, 2009 at 6:35 pm #

    Hey Jason–
    Well-put. The more that I use Twitter, the more I realize the need to use it with intention. Critical consumers and connectors are rewarded mightily for their participation there…in the way of resources, posts, and prompts that help us think and search for better answers. I plan to share this with teachers that I know. Thanks!

  2. March 31, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    Hey Jason–
    Well-put. The more that I use Twitter, the more I realize the need to use it with intention. Critical consumers and connectors are rewarded mightily for their participation there…in the way of resources, posts, and prompts that help us think and search for better answers. I plan to share this with teachers that I know. Thanks!

  3. April 11, 2009 at 1:10 pm #

    Very cool, Jason. Several of us will try Tweeting the AERA conference in San Diego next week, and it should be really interesting.
    http://www.aera.net/Default.aspx?id=5348

    We have set up a Wiki
    http://aeratweetup.pbwiki.com/

    and a Twitter stream
    http://twitter.com/AERAtweetup

    Paul Baker
    AERA Communication & Outreach Committee

    Wisconsin Center for Education Research
    http://www.wcer.wisc.edu

  4. April 11, 2009 at 7:10 am #

    Very cool, Jason. Several of us will try Tweeting the AERA conference in San Diego next week, and it should be really interesting.
    http://www.aera.net/Default.aspx?id=5348

    We have set up a Wiki
    http://aeratweetup.pbwiki.com/

    and a Twitter stream
    http://twitter.com/AERAtweetup

    Paul Baker
    AERA Communication & Outreach Committee

    Wisconsin Center for Education Research
    http://www.wcer.wisc.edu

  5. April 11, 2009 at 1:05 pm #

    Twitter as professional development tool and conference enrichment by Jason Flom http://bit.ly/Y9BwP

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