Of Oz-Teachers and Twitter

//www.flickr.com/photos/64419960@N00/2537309848

Twitter Is Over Capacity by Mykl Roventine

As some of you may know I am a member of the really great Oz-teachers email listserv, having been so for so many years I can’t actually remember when I joined up. Though it lacks the immediacy of Twitter it is still very much an integral part of my learning network. I was interested today when the following message came through.

Hi to all – I just re-posted a link to the oz queen of youtube story that Stephen shared – and this made me wonder who from the list may already be using twitter? I’m jnxyz and tend to post links to good education and technology stuff, as well as questions like the ones that often get asked here.

Of course this started off a bit of flurry of Twitter Username exchange and no doubt a lot of Followers added to all manner of accounts, (I know that I added more than one or two). Amongst the discussion were some emails pondering how to get started. Serendipitously one of my teaching colleagues had also mused via email today that he also was ready to dip into Twitter. Checking around for some notes to offer he and others I found that there were quite a few out there but wanting to standardise them to my other help notes in the Tutorial Section of this blog, I decided to write a set Titled Getting Started With Twitter to add to my Box.net site.

On the score of Twitter readers may be interested to read a couple of columns by New York Times Columnist David Pogue. His Twittering Tips For Beginners is the story of how he had resisted Twitter until a chance meeting revealed the power of  Twitter  to provide almost instantaneous information. As well as providing his take on how to use Twitter he concludes with the emminently sensible conclusion that;

In the end, my impression of Twitter was right and wrong. Twitter IS a massive time drain. It IS yet another way to procrastinate, to make the hours fly by without getting work done, to battle for online status and massage your own ego.

But it’s also a brilliant channel for breaking news, asking questions, and attaining one step of separation from public figures you admire. No other communications channel can match its capacity for real-time, person-to-person broadcasting.

A couple of weeks later David returned to the twitter theme relating how in a Twitter Experiment he thought he would demonstrate the power of Twitter to a group he was addressing by tweeting that he needed a cure for hiccups. Within 15 seconds he had his first tweetback followed by numerous others proferring all manner of generous advice on hiccup cures.

When David tweeted back;

“Thank you all. I don’t really have hiccups, but was demo’ing Twitter in front 1000 people. You did great!”

The response was not quite a generous with numerous respondees taking Mr Pogue to task for abusing the twitter process and seeking assistance for a non-existent problem. Interesting to ponder when next you tweet methinks :).

Image credit: My design for Twitter’s “over capacity” screen by Mykl Roventine

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4 Responses to Of Oz-Teachers and Twitter

  1. Paul McMahon says:

    Hi John,

    I read that today on the oz-teachers digest as well but decided not to reply as this is what wikis are for!

    Hoping that someone would set up something like http://twitter4teachers.pbwiki.com/ Maybe it has been done already. I am always at least a day behind. (Truth be known, I am about a decade behind working in edtech in Hong Kong!) This city has just discovered 1:1 programmes and they are making all of the mistakes of Melbourne in the 1990s. A few schools with vision and, in a place this small, lots of neighbors. Enough said!

    Cheers
    Paul

  2. johnp says:

    Hey Paul,

    Well done, I had twitter4teachers in my history too and had meant to add it somewhere in the post. Thanks for the memory jog. I’d also forgotten to add the Twitter fan wiki http://twitter.pbwiki.com/

    Hey you gotta know that we’re all but one behind someone you know. Here in Victoria Govt schools they are just about to unleash a whole lot of netbooks on grade5 students in a few selected regions with minimal support so far bar a press release or two. Hmmm

  3. Good stuff! I will now take a little while to read mark, and inwardly digest. The reaction to those ungenerous ones who tweeted about hiccups amazes me. Most people like to think they know all about teaching (“I’ve been to school and I taught the dog two tricks”), yet when they have the chance to contribute to people’s education, they get upset with Pogue.

  4. Rodd Lucier says:

    Your post has some practical advice that would be well worth sharing with us at http://www.twitterforteachers.com. I hope you’ll consider joining us, and perhaps adding some of your ideas (like this list of practical ideas) to the project.

    All the best!

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