OK, I'm sure someone here can enlighten me. Twitter. Not sure I get it.

My questions about Twitter:

1. When I Twitter (is that the right terminology, or should i say "Twit"), who sees it?
2. Exactly what does it mean to be a ‘friend’ on Twitter?
3. How do I subscribe to a friend’s Twitters (again, is it Twit)?
4. Any educational uses?
5. Should Twitter be capitalized, as I have been doing?

Tags: Twitter, microblogging

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Hey, Jeff
I didn't really see the application for Twitter until I saw Will Richardson's post about people "twitting" as her gave his NECC presentation. Not sure where it all fits in with my 5th graders, though!
Hi Gordon

Hope all is well

Still trying to figure out how to add somebody as a Twitter friend. E.g., how would I add you?

Meryl says hi.

I always feel like I'm the "wet blanket" in these discussions--may it's because I've been teaching for a long but I think twitting while some one is presenting is rude. Kids today have enough distractions, they don't need any more. A lot of the discussions about Web 2.0 tools fail to mention content. Doesn't anybody else see that there probably isn't an application for twitter in the classroom?? OK, finished whining. N.
"Kids today have enough distractions" you know, like the world that we are completely ignoring outside the walls of our increasing waste of time called school.

What happens when the kids figure this out and we open the doors the first week of September and no one shows up?
"like the world that we are completely ignoring outside the walls of our increasing waste of time called school"...and twittering is going to fix that? I'm first in line when it comes to looking for changes in schools today, but throwing tech tools at kids isn't going to help solve much bigger problems.

How about school days/years that are shorter for some, longer for others, how about online for some, in class for some, how about nights for, some days for others. How about teaching kids at the rate they are able to master the content. How about allowing kids to make sense of their learning in their own way. I'm lucky, I teach in a program where I can write my own curriculum and spend as long as my kids want studying something---my day isn't broken up into 45 minute blocks.

Don't worry---kids will still be going to school long after I've retired. Your job is secure, maybe you'll be the one to make some changes.
Hi, Nancy. I certainly don't want to start a fight. We're on the same side here. :)

It's not about twitter. It's about control. If students are forced into a lecture (or as adults as we sit through a presentation), and if they can get that information in a way that works better for them then why are we forcing them to sit there and listen to us blather on about our stories instead of helping them create their own?

It's not about us throwing tech-tools at kids, its about letting them use the ones they want to use in the way they want to.

I think that's what you said here "How about allowing kids to make sense of their learning in their own way" and if students can do that by using twitter, then far be it from us to decide how.

You hit it on the head, but I'm not worried about job security I'm worried about changing the face of public education (and I'm ready to die on that hill).
I'm not an arguer--but I seem to be saying to myself more and more often "give me a break" when I read about the force fit of some of these tools into the classroom. I've read dozens of blogs this summer that rave about these tools with no mention of kids or any kind of a meaningful, real, rich, relevant or authentic curriculum. I wanted my children (a lawyer, an chemical engineer and a philosopher) to enter society with the skills and intellect to make a difference in the world. That's what I want for my students, too.

I think the biggest problem in schools today is not whether kids blog, twitter, or have a My Space page, its lack of academic rigor. Most schools today are a mile wide and an inch deep---and kids know it.

After presenting at NECC (and around my district and state) for five years and spending hundreds of hours planning I expect that the best and only way for the participants to get the info is through me...I am the tool. If you chatted through my presentation, I'd think you were rude--twittering is the same. Teachers do serve a purpose, if you have students who can get the information somewhere, let them get it elsewhere. Continue the discussion and keep up the good fight! N.
Glenn, this is so try. When you really look at this, it's about what we believe is important and what "content" means. It also has to do with what society will do with the kids when they aren't in school. School is a societal fix that allows adults to be work. Sure it gives children a place to gain skills and learn certain things but do they really need to do this in the confines of the classroom? Sometimes we do ignore the world that is around us and, othertimes, we discuss that world but not from the view of the people who are moving into it.
I haven't totally figured twitter out for students, but I think in class it could be good for pair-share type stuff. In an in person class it would be an unobtrusive way to do that, and if you were doing two classes synchronized in different locations, you could do the pair shares across the classes.
Seeing how adults are using it (checking in with each other in presentations) it already seems more honest, and on-task than the note passing that seems endemic at most professional development trainings. I think the same could hold true for kids.
I agree with you here. It is an unobtrusive form of communication and has its niche. It is not necessarily the best form though. I use it at conferences and to share with my wider network. In conference or meetings I think a background stream for participants like that incorporated into Elluminate is a more effective tool. It opens communication to everyone -- including the presenter!
I just set up my twitter widget on my classroom 2.0 page. It is part of my summer self development to teach myself about widgets and to try to understand why I need widgets in my life or in my classroom. Thanks for the resource Gordon. I'm going to go check it out.
I'm PRETTY sure what I'm saying is accurate!

1. anyone who looks at your homepage, or anyone who has added you as a friend.

2. You add people as friends then you can see their "tweets". If they add you back, they will see your tweets.

3. Here's my page: http://twitter.com/smartinez
If you add me, I'll get an email message that you did that. If I want to, I'll add to to my list of friends and start to see your tweets. You can also look at all my friends, and add them as your friends too, and check out their network, and so on. Sort of like looking at your connections on del.icio.us

4. Not sure - it's VERY real time. It's good for finding out what lots of people are doing without having to ask them. Maybe if you had kids running around doing something off campus, like a field trip, they could be putting up their location, or answering some scavenger hunt type items and everyone in the class could see everyone. I don't see why you would need it in a classroom.

It was GREAT at NECC to be able to see where people were at all times. Not sure it will be something I hang onto long term outside of that. I really don't need to know if someone is going grocery shopping... On the other hand, it's kind nice since I work at home, makes me feel more connected to the world!

5. I've seen it both ways, in fact, it's on their website both ways.



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