The Digital Diet: “Twitter”

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About a year ago almost everyone I knew who was online started signing up for Twitter accounts. I originally did not want one because I had no idea how to effectively use a Twitter account, nor did I think anyone would listen to what I had to say. Even though I tried to avoid Twitter as long as possible, a few months ago I found out that one of my responsibilities for my job in PC Athletics was to run our Twitter page. This meant that I had to learn as much as I could about Twitter in a very limited time. My supervisor expected me to tweet from our account immediately. Although at first I was a little confused and overwhelmed, I have come to enjoy using Twitter for work purposes. I feel as if the PC Athletics account enables me to fully experience Twitter. Followers actually retweet what I put out on our account. I even get several new followers each day, which is great. The only time Twitter gets tricky is when I have direct conversations with fans. I need to make sure I tweet out the most correct and appropriate response to questions that followers ask. As a result of using the PC Athletics twitter every day, I finally broke down and signed up for my own personal account. Honestly I do not tweet very much from my own account, nor do I have many followers. However, I do think it is an important way to say connected, and I will try to put more effort into my own twitter account in the future.

I thought it was great that Cindy had us all create our own professional Twitter accounts, and taught us how to send a tweet and follow others. I do think it is important that we have both a personal and a professional Twitter account. My classmates and I were pushed to encounter an unfamiliar type of social networking which may potentially help us in the future. It is amazing that there are so many educational resources and important people to follow on Twitter! Teachers and other professionals who are not on Twitter are really at a disadvantage.

Not only can Twitter supply users with resources and the latest information, but this type of social networking can also foster communication in the classroom. Reading about Dr. Monica Rankin in this chapter and then seeing what she does in the classroom was definitely a learning experience for me. Dr. Rankin’s students already spend their time online, so bringing Twitter into the classroom really engaged them. The discussions that Dr. Rankin had with her class on Twitter allowed all students to participate. Even though I think this is a great way to learn, I do have some concerns about the character limit of tweets. If students are participating in a conversation online, they have to shorten their thoughts to be only 140 characters in order to post online. Is this enough space for students to adequately express themselves? Or does it teach them to be more concise with their words? Since I will primarily be working with younger students, I wonder if I can bring Twitter into my classroom. How old should students be in order to create a Twitter account? Perhaps Twitter can be implemented in the upper elementary grades, as long as student accounts are set to private and they understand that their accounts are only to be used for school.

Sometimes Twitter can be seen as a negative thing, especially when younger people are involved. After reading this chapter and experiencing Twitter myself, I do not believe this. I think if Twitter is used appropriately it can be a meaningful and engaging way for students to participate in their own learning.
PC Athletics Twitter

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