“You should totally Tweet that!” one of my colleagues excitedly exclaimed. Daunted with the prospect and, to be honest, not even sure what that entailed, I asked, “Well, how would I go about doing that? And, more importantly, why?”
The “why” has always been my biggest question with Tweeting.I know that Twitter is the newest iteration of Facebook (for adults, at least) and that anyone who’s anyone is Tweeting (including our very own POTUS…several hundred times a day, in fact). I know that Twitter is one of the best ways to engage in edu-networking and that most of our strongest voices in education are all over this app. So, I knew it was important for me to get on board…or at least figure out how to make a Tweet. I kept going back to my initial question though: with a 140 character limit, how can anyone truly express or share anything of worth? According to one social media analyst:
Twitter has always been what it initially claimed to be – a microblogging platform. And far from holding it back, the 140 character limit has been the driving force that defined how users engage with the platform – with quick, short statements conducive to live, in the moment commentary. While Facebook is defined by its algorithm, Twitter is defined by being completely unfiltered.”
The idea for Twitter then, is to pack a punch with “quick, short statement” for “in the moment commentary”. So that was my mission. I began in December of 2016 with my first “attendance” to a NESA Twitter Chat session, #NESACHAT.
Okay, so my first mission was more of a test-run. I felt so confined by the 140 character limit and the quick pace of the conversation that it was all I could do to follow the conversation, let alone add my own thoughtful contribution to the flow. So, first run was one Tweet. A Tweeter has to start somewhere!
My second attempt at joining the conversation was three times as successful, meaning that instead of one Tweet, I managed three! I call that a success! This was during one of our AIS-R ThinkTank Sessions, where teachers get together to chat about issues in education. I felt more at ease during this session and thought about Tweets that I could come back to as a reminder of the key moments of the discussion.
And finally, my most recent and most successful session yet, the latest AIS-R ThinkTank, with a whopping 5 tweets! I seem to be getting the hang of it, as evidenced by some of my Tweets which have been “loved” or “shared”.
As the old adage goes, practice really does make perfect, or at least makes it easier and more effective. I’m still not 100% convinced that I will stay on the Twitter bandwagon, but after participating in multiple online conversations, I have a better sense for the power of the Tweet. I can see that, especially during a live conversation, it’s a good way to sort of “take notes” on the learning. It’s also a good way to share with the wider community larger takeaways and “a-ha” moments. I also like that, unlike my Facebook feed, my Twitter community is stacked with like-minded educators who appreciate when I share educational links and resources. I finally have a place to post all the cool edu-articles that I find! 🙂