In Study Hall today, I shared a few “inspirational” quotes from some people I follow on Twitter, Paulo Coelho and Alan Stein. The kids naturally laughed, as they always do when someone “old” (read: > 22) does something they do. Or anything relevant in their worlds. It became a brief discussion of why I Tweet.
So I shared with them why. This is a screen shot of part of my stream:
From Twitter, I learn a great deal, find other educators and coaches to follow, gain inspiration and see how far the bar is raised, giving me something to work towards. Since you select the people you follow, and don’t need to follow friends (like, say, Facebook!), you only follow those who interest you. If someone refers to their nail polish or their thoughts on politics too often, simply “unfollow” them. Your main page is simple – a stream of the most recent thoughts from the people you follow.
For me, I share a limited amount of info. I may reply to a conversation that another Twitter “friend” began:
I occasionally “Live Tweet” from an event I’m at, such as this weekend’s Nike Championship Basketball Clinics:
Or I just share the random musings that come to mind while watching Football on a Sunday, or those which my Study Hall “inspires” me to write:
And sometimes, I get an awesome video to share:
<embed src=’http://www.teachertube.com/embed/player.swf’ height=’260′ width=’470′ allowscriptaccess=’always’ allowfullscreen=’true’ flashvars=’file=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.teachertube.com%2FembedFLV.php%3Fpg%3Dvideo_128877&volume=80&frontcolor=ffffff&lightcolor=FF0000&logo=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.teachertube.com%2Fwww3%2Fimages%2Fgreylogo.swf&skin=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.teachertube.com%2Fembed%2Foverlay.swf&controlbar=over&displayclick=link&stretching=exactfit&plugins=viral-1,gapro-1’/>
Students – and other people – use Twitter for a variety of reasons. Some enjoy talking with their friends and staying in touch. Others track bands and their favorite celebrities. That’s all well and fine, but I use mine to become a far more productive teacher and coach. Many other professions can do the same. It takes some time to initially invest to learn the language (RT @what does that mean?!) and gather interesting people to follow. But I think it’s completely worth it. Its’ the most simple of the “Net 2.0” or “annoying internet” or “social networking” tools to use, in my opinion.