Saturday, January 19, 2008

Why Twitter?

If you are a frequent visitor to this blog, you've probably noticed an addition to the left sidebar. It's My Twitter Roll. Probably not terribly exciting if you don't know what's going on with Twitter and the Eduverse!

I've been seeking an effective way to explain to my colleagues why I use Twitter. I've wanted to find a way to get the explanation out before their eyes started rolling. That would give me about 40 seconds on a good day. If I could get through that first 40 seconds, I might be granted another few minutes. Well, while reading some "other blogs" like this one, or this one, they might per chance happen upon MY blog, where they can read this excerpt I found from CoolCatTeacher who did a GREAT job explaining how she uses Twitter in for professional growth and classroom ideas. And the best part being, if they roll their eyes, I don't have to see it!

This is great, so take a moment to check it out. Read the full post here. When you are done, run to sign up for Twitter and "follow" me (TeachaKidd).

How I use twitter

I use twitter most
  • I check it to see "breaking news" -- Believe it or not I found out about the Virginia Tech Shootings There from @andycarvin

  • To find people to help me test new Web 2.0 tools for the classroom - There is a alot of vaporware out there... I'm not going to use anything in my classroom unless it is safe, it works, and meets an objective of mine. (I like it when its fun too.)

  • To Uncover Great Stories - Sometimes I do freelance work and I use it to find the "stories" of teachers and educators who deserve to be heard but might not have been in the news yet.

  • To Tap in the Power of the "Network" - If I have a big problem and need a solution, if I twitter it, I'll have an answer in seconds.

  • To demonstrate the Power of the Network - I use this to demonstrate by asking the people in my network to shout out where they are from.

  • To let people know what I'm doing. I use twitterfeed to stick in blog posts (and I send my twitter updates to my facebook account to update my status there as well using a facebook app for twitter since facebook is blocked at school.)

  • To help others do these same things and share.

  • To get a good laugh (like the joke from Riptide_Furse last night about TechCrunch's top 10 telephone tricks.)

    7 Tips for Using Twitter Wisely
  1. Get Snitter
    When you do, click options and set as I've done on the right (except for the pink!!)
  2. I am a big believer in the Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity Model -- I usually check twitter in the morning and at night when I'm blogging.
  3. I set direct message to text me on my cell phone. This gives my network a fast way to encourage me and reach me if I can help. In fact, this past summer when my grandmother died, my friends direct messaged me and I received texts on my cell phone at the funeral. It really meant a lot!
  4. Understand that Twitter is a lot like going to a conference. Twitter is full of "happy accidents" and chance meetings. Most of us don't read every general twitter.
  5. Focus on the people. It is not about the technology but the people that technology allows me to connect with. It is about network and PEOPLE. Twitter is efficient, easy, light, and useful. Although MacWorld took the service completely offline a few times this week, its still a great service. I believe in teaching and learning effective technopersonal skills and twitter is one thing I do every day.
Here is the best... she goes on to say:

Now, let me make a point. I am a teacher first... I have an incredible network of educators right here to help me be better. I believe in global collaboration and in the importance of teaching digital citizenship in order to advance the US as a nation and for any nation who wants their citizenry to be successful. To me, this is not a testimony to me "coolcatteacher" but to the power and muscle of the edublogosphere and how we are finally beginning to gain momentum.

1 comment:

Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher said...

It is so important to talk about WHY we do things because so often people who aren't using these things don't understand why they should consider it. Thank you for sharing this information with your readers.

How long have you been twittering and how has it changed your classroom?