So, I’ve been thinking about Twitter and how useful I find it. There are plenty of other educators who think this, and plenty who have no idea what to think of it. You can go read all sorts of other people’s thoughts on it, but let me give you a specific example of what I got out of it last night.
It was Sunday night, I had plenty of things I could do. This list is endless really, but highlights were: correct assessments, read blog posts, catch up on the news of the world, have a moment to talk to my husband since the kids were in bed, etc. I can’t remember where I started, but at some point I opened Tweetdeck, which I use to follow a number of hash tags on Twitter. I was scrolling backwards through “all friends” tweets. (I say friends but unlike my friends on Facebook, I have not met the vast majority of the folks I follow on Twitter, but I follow them and they follow me.). Within a minute, there were 2 tweets that caught my eye in particular. 1 from someone I have actually met in person once and one from someone I have never met.
Tweet 1- @jasonchri tweeted, “iPad app that I love for unit planning…iCardSort. It’s awesome…awesome I say”
I went to the app store, checked it out, read a few reviews. Replied to @jasonchri about what he was doing with it and asked a few questions. We went back and forth about 10 times. I downloaded the app, started using it, noticed something else, sent him another tweet. We both learned something.
I now have another app that I will certainly want to use personally and in my classroom. Searching for apps, or rather finding the right apps, is time consuming and awkward, so any help I can get there is great. Plus, I have another person I know is using this particular app with whom I can be in touch. And, I might have another reader for this blog.
Tweet 2- @nykat4 tweeted, “I’ve decided to go ahead & release my blog- nameless & with a poss temporary theme! http://bit.ly/9FCAIy”
I went to her blog, skimmed over the post about EdCampNYC, which I also attended, but then saw her previous post about scheduling and work flow with a link to this TED talk by Jason Fried. Watched the TED video (I totally recommend it BTW), left Katy a comment on her blog, and got started thinking about timing in my own classroom in a different way.
I often think my students are taking too long to get things done, or at least longer than I think it should take them. This post made me think about who much of that is about switching tasks or refocusing and how much is legitimately just lack of attention and chit-chat? Now I’m thinking about how to work within my fixed schedule to make it work better for my students. And, I’m thinking about what I would do if I were Queen of Scheduling, just incase. I can’t just complain without having an alternative idea. (Well, I can, but it’s just not productive.) It’s not like I have solved this problem, yet, but I got some more ideas and am mixing them up with mine. We’ll see what happens.
So, did I spend a lot of time online in front of a screen last night? Yes.
Was it a lot of fluffy street fashion and goofy family photos (both of which I also like)? No.
Did I get to all the things I had planned to do? Absolutely not.
What I got was in fact so much better. It started on Twitter with 2 tweets of 140 characters or less. That’s a lot of bang for your character.