Replied to Why teachers are turning to Twitter by Brendon Hyndman (The Conversation)
Rather than a one-off professional learning event (such as a conference), Twitter provides a low-cost, easy to access platform. It requires little effort beyond 280 character posts or photos to connect with a range of education professionals, leaders and organisations.
I am a massive advocate of open education. I feel the possibility of a wider audience has taken my learning to a new level. Reading this post, I just feel that there is a massive question not considered.

If you interviewed my last year, would I provide the same response as I do now?

My experience of Twitter has waned of late. I still share there. I still engage with people. However, I have moved my learning to my own space. I think that this is important.

As with all technology, Twitter is ever evolving. The most recent news has been the depreciation of their API that allows for the development of external applications. Each of these changes has a consequence.

The other concern I have is which teachers are turning to Twitter? Chris Wejr questions whether every teacher is able to share who they are online?. Maha Bali also captures this in regards to open education:

what kind of privileges do we have that give us the power to have a space there – things like the English language, having the capacity for a good bandwidth on in the internet to do something like virtually connecting, having TIME to spare and being financially comfortable, being naturally willing to expose yourself and make yourself vulnerable – you have to have a lot of privileged to be willing to make yourself vulnerable. Because some people are already vulnerable and marginal and they cannot take certain risks online.

In addition to whether they can share themselves online, the other consideration is whether they must?

I wonder then if the title should be why some teachers are turning to Twitter and what does this say about education? Personally, I wonder whether more teachers will turn to the open web and a better web? Here is to hoping.

Replied to Technology and Learning. Evidence and Impact by Corrie Barclay (Learning and Leading)
It’s not been until my current place of employment that I was asked, repeatedly, by parents and caregivers about what the impact would be of iPad devices being integrated in to their student’s learning. In saying that, it does not mean that other parents and caregivers has not been concerned in ...
Interesting reflections Corrie.

I thought the one person to turn to in regards to the effectiveness of technology was Gary Stager. He certainly has some interesting things to say:

I am intrigued by your reference to Marzano in association with technology. Have you read his work on IWBs?

I have always had concerns with SAMR, my particular gripe is the lack of awareness to the wider context. I have really enjoyed following Ian Guest’s work assocaited with Twitter, in particular his reference to ‘non-human’ actors. This is why I think that there is hope with the Modern Learning Canvas to support teachers in developing a richer appreciation of practice. See for example the canvas I made assocaited with our learning model:


“Modern Learning Canvas – Instructional Model” by mrkrndvs is licensed under CC BY-SA

If we ask teachers to change their “roles, relationships and actions”, I think that we need a way of seeing and appreciating that. The canvas provides a great tool to identify transformation.

Lastly, in regards to wider research, I collected some links here if you need anything.

Aaron

Syndicated on collect.readwriterespond.com

Liked ‘Our’ positionality? by Ian Guest (Marginal Notes)
Bringing a sociomaterial sensibility built on actor-network theory to this study positions me in a particular way. This eschews the notion of a pre-existent reality ‘out-there’ waiting for the knowing subject to discover and explain it. Nor is reality constructed by the distant researcher through a set of discursive practices. Instead, reality is performative, brought into being as a result of the relationships which form and reform when actors, both human and nonhuman, intra-act. As a researcher of and with teachers using Twitter then, I am entangled with a heterogenous mix of educators, software platforms, digital devices, terms of service, time zones, screens, hashtags and notifications. What emerges from the study depends on the knowledge practices which are brought to bear, but these do not solely involve a researcher, research participants and standard qualitative methods, but also an eclectic mix of other nonhuman actors. Together their relational performances constitute ‘methods assemblage’ (Law, 2004), where different realities become enacted depending on the actors which participate. One implication might be that this should not be statement of my positionality, but of ours.
Bookmarked Interviewing the nonhumans by Ian Guest (Marginal Notes)
Twitter’s algorithms might indeed make following a hashtag easier for us, but what is it doing for Twitter? When tens of people like an educational tweet for example, how did that happen, what are the consequences and for whom?
Here is a list of heuristics taken from ‘Researching a Posthuman World’ by Catherine Adams and Terrie Lynne Thompson

Gathering anecdotes

Describe how the object or thing appeared, showed up, or was given in professional practice. What happened?

Following the actors

Consider the main practice you are interested in. What micro-practices are at work?
Who-what is acting? What are they doing? Who-what is excluded?
How have particular assemblages come together? What is related to what and how? What work do they do?> > Choose an object of interest. What is the sociality/materiality around it?

Listening for the invitational quality of things

What is a technology inviting (or encouraging, inciting, or even insisting) its user to do?
What is a technology discouraging?

Studying breakdowns, accidents and anomalies

What happens if an object breaks or is unexpectedly missing? What practices then become more visible?

Applying the Laws of Media

This heuristic draws on the tetrad of McLuhan and McLuhan (1988) and poses the questions they proposed.

What does a technology/medium enhance?
What does it render obsolete?
What does it retrieve that was previously obsolesced?
What does it become when pressed to an extreme?

Unravelling translations

How have particular gatherings come to be and how do they maintain their connections?
What unintended realities come into being as everyday practices unfold?
What is entrenched? Who-what is excluded?

Can you remember the route by which you came to use Twitter to support your professional learning?

In a recent response to Ian Guest, I spoke about a beginning to getting onto Twitter. After reading Ian’s reply, I realised I may have been ignoring the wild goose chase …

Replied to The path to Twitter is paved with … by IaninSheffield (Marginal Notes)
Can you remember the route by which you came to use Twitter to support your professional learning?
Ian, your post (and visual) raised many questions. I think my own experience of Twitter was somewhat multi-pronged. There was quite a bit of inadvertent nudging, during a course on thinking, while I also had a few friends on it. I have documented a part of my story here, as well as created a short video documenting it:

I really wonder if it is ever one thing, rather than an assemblage of parts. This has me thinking about blogging as well and how the take up of Twitter might compare with the early days of educational blogging? Would there be similarities? Do these things change? Would someone starting out on their path now be different to yourself starting out in 2009? How does it differ from a wider discussion of connected education? Always so many questions.

Liked What do teachers do on Twitter? Emerging findings. by IaninSheffield (Marginal Notes)
In pre-internet times, connecting with colleagues (and/or experts) having shared interests often depended on proximity. Twitter now enables those connections to become possible where once it might have been much less common.
Quoted

I do find Twitter and social media and all those communities and tribes that I belong to as really quite interesting because they sort of exist outside of this temporal nature of where I work; where my contract is and so forth. They’re connections that y’know if change five jobs, I’ve still got these connections. And many of the people that I know have changed jobs several times, but it’s the connections that have remained – Aaron Davis

Quoted in Ian Guest’s post​ on Connecting, a part of his research into Professional development in 140 characters​.

Replied to Groups, communities, collectives or …? by Ian Guest (Marginal Notes)
Twitter is classified by Stephen Downes as a Group, based on the fact that power is centralised and held by the platform, rather than being in the hands of the participants. Membership is closed by dint of the requirement to create an account and there are rules which members are obliged to follow. In addition to the criteria he uses to disti...
This is an interesting discussion Ian. I wonder if you have read Teaching Crowds by Jon Dron and Terry Anderson. I have summarised it here. However I think that this graphic captures it:

A representation of the ideas presented in Teaching Crowds
Graphic taken from a presentation at GAFE Summit, 2016

What intrigues me about labeling Twitter as a ‘group’ ignores the many features built into the platform and the affordances they allow. For example, the focus on hashtags allows for the formation of ‘Communities of Interest’, while lists can be used to develop ‘Circles’. Maybe Downes’ reference to ‘sameness’ is assocaited with the idea of ‘templated self’.

A self or identity that is produced through various participation architectures, the act of producing a virtual or digital representation of self by filling out a user interface with personal information.

It has definitely left me wondering.

Replied to Pingbacks: hiding in plain sight
I’ve never really thought about Pingbacks on blog posts; they just appear. On my own blogs, most of the pingbacks are in fact internal referencing as I link from one post to another. But maybe they’re not as mundane as they might at first appear and in fact they work much harder than I first thought? When someone reads a blog post and is subsequently minded to write their own post, either referencing or extending the ideas in the original, they are extending knowledge. Were it not for the pingback, the link between the two posts would be one way only, from the body of the new post back to the original. The pingback is initiated automatically from within the original post platform and consequently makes this a two-way exchange by providing that link to the new post. This extending of the knowledge web offers opportunities, but I wonder to what extent people use it? I know that if I write a post which attracts a pingback, I usually follow it up to check out the post and the author. The outcome might be that I learn something new about what I originally thought, or that I find a new blog to follow, or a new person with whom to connect. The interesting part is that it’s an algorithm or script that’s doing that. A nonhuman. My learning is once more being affected and enabled by a nonhuman actor.
Pingbacks seem to be a part of the WordPress architecture. For other platforms, you can use trackbacks. One use case is the #Indieweb and the potential to comment from your own space. Chris Aldrich even demonstrates how you can use such an infrastructure to reply to Twitter.