What do you do with Twitter?

I was sitting in the first tutorial for EDC3100, ICT and Pedagogy yesterday when I overheard a student ask another, “What do you do with Twitter?”. There are many answers to this, this is what I did with Twitter this morning.

Learn – seek and sense

Primarily I use Twitter to seek out new information.

According to my Twitter profile I follow 544 people. That doesn’t mean I ready everything that they post. I have created a number of Twitter lists. Most of which I don’t really use any more. e.g. I’ve stopped using course twitter lists.

The one list I pay more attention to is the inner-circle. It currently has 100+ people I follow. This is a fairly random collection of people who currently tweet about stuff I find interesting. Stuff that I try to keep abreast of (but typically fail).

This morning when I first started up the laptop, there were around 180 tweets from this inner-circle. Given I had some time this morning, I skimmed through those tweets looking for some interesting stuff. Some of what I’ve found so far includes the following.

First I spotted the following re-tweet from @clairebooks

Mentions digital literacy and some changes to the Welsh curriculum. Digital literacy is something we touch on a few times over the semester in EDC3100. In fact, next week we mention the somewhat related ICT General Capability in the Australian Curriculum. What’s happening in the Welsh context provides an interesting comparison with our own context.

@shaned07 tweeted about an article in CIO about a presentation given by the CIO of the Queensland department of education.

The presentation talks in glowing terms about the success of their “ERP” system and its associated dashboards. I’m somewhat skeptical of the claims of such systems. ERPs almost inevitably leave huge gaping chasms between what people would like to do with them, and what they actually do. Dashboards are something I’ve learned to dislike a lot. However, the CIO is also saying some good things in terms of the importance of the teacher’s judgement with what is shown in the data.

This is interest because it is both a research interest of mine (I’ll be spending a fair bit of the next couple of days kludging together various institutional systems to get access to this type of data about EDC3100) and also of relevance to the topics we cover in EDC3100. Evidence-based decision making and data analysis are an increasing interest of those who decide what’s important for pre-service teachers to learn.

I’ve also been following along with @palbion’s tweets from the SITE conference in Las Vegas. Lots of interesting things to ponder from there.

Digital renovation is a growing interest of Peter and I, so I’ll need to follow up on this.

I also found out that at least one student seems to be progress okay with the course

And just as I was finishing up this post, I came across this from @courosa

This has me thinking about how many of the #edc3100 folk would make the connection between the mathematical concepts and the dance moves. It makes me wonder whether this is a way to bring in a tool like GeoGebra into EDC3100.

And lastly I liked (and smiled at) this re-tweet by @markdrechsler

It speaks to me of similar statements I’ve heard where management “blame the teachers”, the teachers “blame the students”, and IT people “blame the user” for not responding to some plan in the expected way.

Twitter helps seeking

All of the above are examples of something that I would not have come across without the network of people that I follow on Twitter. Cultivating a diverse network of people who are interested in different things and take a different perspective from me, helps me in seeking out new and interesting ideas. It sparks thoughts and possibilities that would not have been possible otherwise.

Share

And in keeping with the PKM process I’ve also shared these tweets. This post is one example of sharing the tweets and what I do with them. I’ve also shared the links provided in some of these tweets to the EDC3100 Diigo group.

The article from CIO has also been tagged with a tag that links it to some research I’m doing.

The link about digital literacy is something I need to revisit in a little while and consider how (and if) it can be integrated into the EDC3100 learning paths. There’s some potential for a discussion around the shift from ICT to digital literacy, what it means, and whether it’s a good thing.

What did I do with Twitter?

I’ve generated a couple of ideas for activities for EDC3100. In fact, this blog post will also find its way into the next learning path as an example of what you might do with Twitter, but also as an example of a blog post.

And identified some additional avenues of exploration around research issues.

I learned about some work that’s going on around education from across the world. Generated some ideas for my teaching, but also for my research. Perhaps most importantly, I smiled.

And the day is still young.