Friday, October 2, 2009

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly...

As of October 2, 2009, Twitter is the end all, and be all of the twenty first century. Posting “Tweets” of 140 characters has enabled a world of “Tweeple” to stay connected. Individuals who utilize the world of tweets range from business men, students, stoners, pop stars, news anchors, cat-lovers, teachers, professional athletes…the list could go on forever! Imagine yourself sitting in class…the student next to you is Twittering; imagine yourself in a boardroom…the CEO is currently updating his Twitter profile; and finally, you’re visiting your grandmother, and what is she doing? She’s following up to the minute tweets on the new brand of cat food she’s interested in! What is the world coming to?? The next thing you know, the streets, schools, stores and office buildings will be empty and all you have to do is log onto Twitter, and there they are…giving you TMI on the minutiae of their lives.

Now don’t get me wrong. Unquestionably, I am a proponent, AND advocate for the integration of technology into our daily lives. However, I am having a difficult time understanding the extent to which Twitter can enrich and/or transform our lives for the better. Obviously, there are positives and negatives of virtually ALL aspects of innovative technologies, and Twitter is not exempt. As a prospective teacher, I am well aware of the long list of valuable resources Twitter offers, and I will do my best to employ those resources in a constructive and effective way in my future classroom. In the following list, I will record MY reasons for using Twitter as an educator.

1. Twitter can represent a virtual staffroom; a virtual world where teachers can access in seconds a stream of links, ideas, opinions, and resources from a hand-picked selection of global professionals.

2. By utilizing all that Twitter has to offer, educators are able to compare their ideas and classrooms with other educators located thousands of miles away.

3. As a mentor and educator, I want to be the BEST that I can be, and the only way I can do that is to reflect on the work that I am doing and maintain and develop it in order to make it better. Twitter would enable me to share my reflections, as well as offer support to other educators, and receive INSTANT feedback.

4. Twitter can also help you stay up-to-date on news and current affairs, and the latest developments in areas of school leadership and technology.

So, there are my reasons for wanting to use Twitter as an educator, mentor, and teacher. But, going back to what I said previously…I STILL am having difficulty in understanding ALL the positive ways in which one can utilize Twitter to its fullest potential. I keep getting bogged down by the mundane details of everyone’s daily (boring) lives. I have had one or two opportunities to follow educational “Tweets”; however, these occasions have been few and far between. I’m hoping these opportunities will rear their heads on a more daily basis. I guess, basically, I am having a hard time grasping how to go about FINDING these opportunities on my own. Adding on to the fact that I am a complete novice in terms of Twitter “lingo”…I have a really difficult time actually understanding what it is people are tweeting. All the abbreviations and what not just confuse me more!

Essentially, my view on Twitter is this: unless you are using Twitter in a PROFESSIONAL way…it is simply a way for individuals to make themselves feel better; it is a phony and bogus way to make yourself feel “popular”; like people actually CARE about what you are doing EVERY second of your life. Again, I can see the positive aspects of using Twitter as a professional, but I can’t seem to get past the surface level…

If anyone has any suggestions…PLEASE let me know…

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