What Educators Should Tweet About

Gotcha. I have no idea what educators should tweet about. Consider the title pure link bait. (Was thinking about titling it “I tweeted this out and you’ll never guess what happened next”, but that’s more of an Upworthy thing)

Actually there are many people who have created helpful guidelines and tools for educators delving into social media. I’m the last person you probably would look for to advise folks on how to use twitter. Having been using it for over 8 years and almost 100,000 tweets I’m still unsure and hesitate on sharing with people who to use it. The ways are varied and nuanced.

But I can share some of the ways I’ve used it, so here’s my unofficial guide to using twitter.

1. Post random song lyrics.

Often as I’m listening to music, a lyric will strike me and posting it offers a little puzzle piece and for those that see it as such, builds this tiny connection of getting an inside joke.

2. Get people to do challenges at live events.

 

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Anyone Want To Have a Real Conversation?

The reason I was drawn to blogs 10 years ago was the raw and natural tone they afforded. No longer publishing was relegated to perfectly edited prose but favored conversational, authentic voices. My recent foray into snapchat is largely about exploring the same thing but perhaps to a greater degree.

Arriving at ISTE for the 8th year in a row, it’s difficult at times not to become jaded. I’m not even talking about the overblown corporate presence but rather the way in which discussions and ideas are void of authenticity. What takes precedence at ISTE and most larger events are buzzwords and platitudes. Sessions that use words like “transform”, tweets that garner retweets because of their catchiness and conversations that lack depth.  Time after time, people will reference the hallway conversations, that for many who are experienced conference goers, mark the best learning. This is true in part because they’re more intimate and further are more authentic. People will speak more openly about struggles. They’ll talk about success and quandaries with humility. They aren’t putting on a show or trying to impress anyone. And yet so much of the online interactions lack any nuance, questioning or depth of thought. The … Read the rest

Twitter as a Creative Outlet

It’s no secret if you follow me on twitter I don’t take it all that seriously. In case you don’t know what I mean, I created this video I sometimes share with new followers warning them of my intent.

While most educators talk about twitter as a great place to develop a personal learning network and even as a Professional Development resource, I enjoy the opportunity to be creative. The constraints of 140 characters is fuel for creativity. When you’re sharing a link or resource, the process is pretty straightforward. But when you’re trying to communicate something of more depth or even tell a story, those constraints make you work hard. With any tool, it’s important to understand and appreciate both the limitations but also the affordances. Real time interaction is powerful feature. This is one of the reason chats are so popular.

I like trivia games. A few years back I tried to play a version of “name that tune” on twitter. I would upload a few clips to a storage site and then post them to twitter using the #namethattune hashtag. It’s always interesting to see how various people happen to be online and really get into … Read the rest

Archiving Twitter

When I first started using twitter 7 years ago, it was largely viewed as a frivolous space of drivel. For many it still is and I’d be the first to admit much of the time spent there is exactly that and I’m as much of a contributor to that as any. And yet….

 

For a long time I viewed twitter as a throw away tool, conversations and streams of consciousness that wasn’t worth saving. As time evolved I found myself searching through past tweets to recall a salient thought, link or idea that would often lead to deeper thinking. I’m still amazed at how many times I remember a tweet that is several years old and thinking about what may have transpired in my thinking as a result. These tiny documentations of life and ideas are much more meaningful than I would have ever expected 7 years ago. You would think after accumulating over 80,000 tweets that once in a while, there’d be something useful there. 😉

There were a few tools that sort of helped make this easier but most were clunky and unable to find tweets that were more than a few days old. About a year … Read the rest

When Sharing Goes Bad, Pithy Quote Fetish and Kids These Days

I left a comment on Wes’ blog after this rather unfortunate event happened. I decided to repost here with a few additional thoughts and modifications.

 

Photo: by Wes Fryer https://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/11866202466/

 

I think there are three issues that come to mind for me:

1. It’s important we understand and accept the trade offs with technology. Too often we in the ed tech community have to oversell technology in order to make in roads. We’re not naive, I don’t think we ignore the downsides, but perhaps if we prepare folks for deeper understanding, these kinds of things won’t be seen as a reason to discontinue. 99.99% of my experience in sharing has been overwhelmingly positive. I have to think that for most people who have made sharing a part of  what they do, it’s similar. But I’m afraid if you’ve not made this your default, it might make you gun shy. That’s unfortunate. Yes, occasionally sharing goes bad. But in the same way that being kind can backfire, I hope it wouldn’t stop you from continuing to be kind. Understand this comes with the territory. Some might suggest Wes shouldn’t post pictures of his kids. I disagree. Many of his … Read the rest