Twitter made simple (or is it?)

This is all over the Web at the moment and plenty of people in the blogging world were heads up to it four days ago when Lee Lefever posted it on his Common Craft site and YouTube. One of the ways they found about it was from the topic of the video; twitter. Twitter is a means of social networking. You answer the question, ‘What are you doing?’, in 140 characters or less including spaces. You follow people in your network and are privy to both the mundane and useful answers to that question. I’m following people in the edublogging/education world and look at twitter throughout the day to see if there’s anything happening that I should make myself aware of.

I have to admit to having a few problems with Twitter. (I know – plenty of you out there are devotees and love it). Most of these relate to the need to achieve the right balance in our lives. I get worried about the addictive nature of feeling like you need to know everything instantaneously. I keep reading Will Richardson and his love of Twitter is obvious – he uses it as the supreme networking tool and it obviously has its advantages for someone whose working life is this Web 2.0 world. I’m a wife, mother of two relatively young children, hold down a full-time job managing a library as well as teaching English, try to keep a house in order and maintain connections with my extended family and friends. To top it off now I’m writing this blog in my spare time! Just discovering Twitter has further complicated the work/life balance I was already struggling to navigate. I know – I can already hear you out there saying, ‘No-one is twisting your arm to do this. If you don’t want to, just don’t look at it.’ And if you’re saying this you’re absolutely right. It’s up to me to find the balance I need to be comfortable doing what I’m doing without letting anything (or more importantly, anyone) drop off my radar. I almost feel like it’s the wrong time for me to be immersing myself in this world- eight years down the track and my kids would be pretty much self-sufficient (maybe!).  Can’t really do much about this now – I feel like I’m in deep and actually am loving learning again. I don’t feel stale when it comes to my working life and am excited about what education can (will?) look like in the future.

Wow. That was a fairly indulgent piece of self analysis. I don’t blame you if you switched off halfway through, but if you didn’t, thanks for listening. Needed to get that one off my chest.        


2 Replies to “Twitter made simple (or is it?)”

  1. Wow, I empathize. It is a lot all at once. And a lot is becoming a lot more by the day.

    This is the essential challenge isn’t it?!

    With the amount of information available (and by the time our kids graduate it will be a yottabyte!!) and the number of ways to manage it, it s an art to find powerful web tools that meet our needs and sift through the information to get the substantial stuff we want/need to grow our PLN.

    This is what kids should be learning…this is how we are learning now.

    Q: If you could build a learning environment of the future, today, what would it look like (considering public education system was fully obsolete)?

  2. Big question Derek, obviously requiring a big answer! I’d want my students to be actively learning about things that matter as well as learning about things that matter to them. Teaching and learning would be a partnership between learner and enabling adult. They would need well equipped teachers with an understanding of how the Web works so that they could be guided in their inquiry. I would hope that they are encouraged to make global connections that would help to break down barriers that currently exist due to a lack of understanding about other cultures and the fact that people are just people when it comes down to the bare bones of it. I’d hope that every child, no, matter what their circumstances, has access to the tools they need to make connections and explore a subject matter as far as they need to take it. I’d love to see kids so engaged in what they are doing that they remain focused on tasks and don’t feel the need to check out their myspace page with the help of a proxy server!

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