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
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.