twittering twits

Is that too harsh? Well, I’ve tried to be a Twitterer, but find I just can’t stand listening to myself spit out semi-meaningless accounts of what I’m doing. And so I’m thinking that we’ve all been suckered into Twitter and are really twits in the Merriam Webster sense, #2:

Main Entry: 1twit
Pronunciation: \ˈtwit\
Function: noun
Date: 1528
1 : an act of twitting : taunt 2 : a silly annoying person : fool

Here’s a good example of a twit: Upperclass Twit of the Year

Twitter is one of those social networking tools that has attracted a lot of users, and I’ll give us all a pat on the back for trying it out to see whether it has value. You really do have to try things out to see what works and what doesn’t. You can’t just dismiss new technology tools without a look-see. But you really have to see those streams of inane jibberish to get the full picture, and if it does work for you, OK.

Twitter doesn’t work for me, although I did read somewhere recently about a classroom experience where students posted to Twitter from their cell phones, creating a quick and dynamic conversation. It worked, I would say, because that instructor was the force behind the learning design. It wouldn’t have been a spontaneous, grassroots phenomenon, á la the old “Hey, kids, let’s put on a show” (my Andy Hardy movie past is showing).

So, if you were thinking that students will be telling us what technologies to use and how, think again. Inspiration and creativity has to come from faculty–and that should be good news. But if you have an anecdote about a student-driven technology use that inspired you, let us in on it.

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Categories: technology

2 replies

  1. Twitter… your “in-the-classroom” example sounds very similar to PRS (http://help.allegheny.edu/tutorials/clickers.php). Interesting in the way faculty are trying new ways to engage students… Does it improve the learning process or simply a gimmick?

    Twitter might be useful for an underfunded IT support group to stay connected.

    With the exception of this podcast example (http://help.allegheny.edu/tutorials/clickers.php), I’m not sure many Web 2.0 technologies have yet to successfully make it into the classroom.

    Although, it is my understanding the Web 2.0 is about online community building… It would be interesting to learn what percentages of faculty have face book accounts. If those faculty members use the accounts to become “friends” with their students and if this on-line relationship building activity in-turn strengthens or reinforces the traditional faculty/student relationship, and thus ultimately enhances the learning experience?

    Like

  2. Twitter… your “in-the-classroom” example sounds very similar to PRS (http://help.allegheny.edu/tutorials/clickers.php). Interesting in the way faculty are trying new ways to engage students… Does it improve the learning process or simply a gimmick?

    Twitter might be useful for an underfunded IT support group to stay connected.

    With the exception of this podcast example (http://help.allegheny.edu/tutorials/clickers.php), I’m not sure many Web 2.0 technologies have yet to successfully make it into the classroom.

    Although, it is my understanding the Web 2.0 is about online community building… It would be interesting to learn what percentages of faculty have face book accounts. If those faculty members use the accounts to become “friends” with their students and if this on-line relationship building activity in-turn strengthens or reinforces the traditional faculty/student relationship, and thus ultimately enhances the learning experience?

    Like

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