Recently, Twitter has made been in the headlines for breaking the news of recent China’s earthquake, partnering with MySpace for its “data availability” project and even helping a student get out of jail.
In the past few months, Twitter has grown rapidly. According to Lee Odden’s Twitter usage poll , the most popular reasons for using Twitter were:
- Sharing links to items of interest to your network
- Networking for new contacts
- Reinforcing current network contacts
- Promoting specific content
- Re-distribution of content from blogs, web sites
- Twitter cat posts: flight delays, eating habits, who knows what and why
- Replacement for Facebook updates
- Influencing your network-leadership
- Group and project communications
At first, I was uncomfortable with the mix of formal and informal and personal and public. I also could not see what Twitter could do for me. Now that it is sometimes unavailable, this is what I miss-apart from the quick responses to any of my “tweet”:
* Technical Advice: I received some brilliant tips when I started using my IWB ;
*Specific advice offered when requested ;
*The opportunity to pick somebody else’s brains ;
*the 140 Character Limit: great to help you clarify your thoughts and get to the point ;
*Discussing issues that are important to you ;
*Finding out how an issue is dealt with in different countries: I find the differences between the different educational systems fascinating ;
*Getting links to suitable reading to keep you up to date with your areas of interest: This is personalised CPD of the highest quality
*Finding out about blogs and blog posts of interest to you: Helps with social networking locally as well as globally.
Twitter can also be used with students. Some practice can be very daring and more suitable for post 16-particularly when it involves Twitter and mobile phones.
However, some simple projects like “Foxford Meteo” set up by James Padvis from Foxford School and Community Arts College in Coventry can turn out to be a real source of motivation for students.
Now the sticky point: How to introduce it to other people?
A number of short videos and blog posts will be useful:
However, it sounds so unrelated to our professional concerns that some of its uses will need to be highlighted formally-like in this blog post. I would encourage any colleagues to get started to see its real potential. Like many ICT tools, it is difficult to evaluate its usefulness until you start using it, but what is for sure is that there is a lot more to it than just talking about what you are up to…