If you’ve spent much time in the blogosphere in the last six months you have likely heard about Twitter. I have mentally been writing this post for about ten days. I want to provide my critical review and share the pros and cons as I see them. I realized that many people have already covered the bulk of this information and I just found it unnecessary for me to fully cover this topic with my own original post. Therefore, here are a few BIG points that I briefly want to make followed by valuable resources to further pursue this topic.
- There is value in the networking and real-time interaction that you can get using Twitter. Many educators and academics find this to be an effective strategy for dealing with the isolation that can come from working in the classroom or office. Imagine encountering technical difficulties during your lesson and having a means of receiving assistance within minutes. Consider the ability to receive assistance from others during a teachable moment in which you don’t know the answer to a student’s inquiry. Individuals like @nlowell, @sbrandt, and @room214 have provided me with much needed real-time assistance.
- I admit that it is possible for Twitter to be used in non-productive ways. I do not care about the weather, meal plans, funny cat stories, or work schedule of individuals that I do not know (in real life or virtually), but I solve this issue by simply dropping them from my follow list. On the flip side, I don’t mind if individuals that I know/ respect do this. Hearing @mguhlin share about events at work or @berniedodge describe the weather in San Diego helps me know them a bit more and adds an additional layer of community within my online network.
- The message to take away is that your experience with Twitter will be what you make it. You should customize and use it on an ongoing basis to meet your specific needs and interests.
- Join my Twitter network by using the link in the Navigation menu to the right.
Here is a great introduction to Twittering.
This video provides a full overview for setting up and using Twitter.