Archive for April, 2012

Twitter Explosion

Posted in classroom tools, Connectivism, PLN on April 13, 2012 by Mister A

I have been trying to get teachers involved in twitter for several years. I have held workshops, miniworkshops, brought it up at staff meetings, and tried to explain what a PLN is to teachers with very little success. My district has brought in big name speakers to try and get teachers on twitter although no administrator types who brought in those big names utilizes twitter at all. I mean no one in my district barely even has a clue how twitter works or maybe they just don’t see how valuable it might be. Hmmm…except for the kidz.

Recently in my hometown, there has been a twitter explosion of use among teens. I know this because a couple of my old students followed me and I can see their friends…and their friends friends. I have lived in this mid sized town of approximately 70,000 people most of my life and I was wondering if something like this might happen with the teachers or adults in my town. I have pretty much given up on the adults, but watching what has happened with the kids has been a real eye-opener for me.  I looked back at when most of the kids started getting into twitter and it was like in early January and there are hundreds, if not thousands of local teens utilizing the application now, totally exponential growth.  I must not be a cool kid to other teachers or something. I don’t think many of the new Great Fallsian Twitterers really have a clue what they are doing as they are posting things like nobody can hear what they are saying.   I think they will quickly realize twitter is far more open than the Facebook they are use to is. I think part of this twitter explosion is a move on the part of teens to get away from their parents and Facebook. I wonder if the kids will go through a phase of protecting their tweets when they realize that Mom, Dad, Principals and pretty much anyone who wants can read their tweets.  I really wish I could have helped some teachers catch on as quickly as the kids seem to have caught on.

I feel like a poor example of how to develop a PLN or how to show teachers how to develop a PLN as no one I have taught or tried to teach has utilized twitter at all to the extent I have to learn new things and connect with new people. I told them I could type a message into my phone and get advice from several incredibly intelligent australians but it was like nobody believed me or they didn’t care if I could message people half way around the world any time I wanted…and my intelligent aussie/tenesseen/newjersian/missoulian/virginian/greek/kansan/british/kiwi/alaskan friends could and can do the same with me. It has taken twitter a few short months to sweep through the local teens in my hometown.  It is how I thought twitter would take over the teaching world when I discovered it . I guess I would get into twitter/facebook/social media now if I were a teacher, simply because if you don’t, there will be no way for you to understand or connect with your kids in THIS NEW WORLD! For a second or two I wondered if this twitter explosion might just be a local fad or something, especially when our local teens realize that everyone can see everything they are tweeting.  Perhaps twitter and facebook are local fads, but I believe SOCIAL MEDIA is here to stay and will continue to change how we need to teach.  I think the industrial revolution might be over.

I look forward to the day I can say to my students…tweet me if u have a question on the project we are working on in class. I think that day is very fastly approaching, in fact, it might just be tomorrow.  I bet they go to PLURK next.