💬 Why teachers are turning to Twitter

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.

3 responses on “💬 Why teachers are turning to Twitter”

  1. Hi Aaron,
    Thanks for pointing me to this post and keeping me in mind and in the loop. I know I’ve gone somewhat dark recently; I’m making the push towards submitting my first full draft. Apologies.
    Couple of quick observations:
    Like you, I too have a number of questions about the article which prompted your post. There’s a couple of claims I’d contest in the above snippet alone. ‘Some’ teachers? Absolutely. Although, being generous, perhaps that’s implicit in the title? It doesn’t go so far as to say ‘all’ teachers after all.
    You close by hoping more teachers might turn to the open web. By that do you mean teachers who are currently on the closed web, or teachers who are currently on neither? And what would the open web look like for them?

    1. I thought your silence in the blogosphere might mean a focus on producing your thesis.

      To be honest Ian, I too have been a little absent. I started the year with a focus on intent. This has lead to me being a little more active within spaces like Twitter. Although I have everything backed up PESOS style, I have started sending Tweets and replies from my blog. One of the consequences is that it involves a bit more effort. However, it has lead me to be more mindful.

      In regards to your question about what an open web might look like to a new teacher. I think that it would probably look like a desert. Arid. Empty. Lonely. However, that is perception. When you start digging around, lifting rocks, looking under shrubs, you soon realise that there is in fact a vibrant life that is often unseen.

      I think that places like Twitter and Medium are much like rainforests. Although they may seem to be active and alive, when too much is taken from them their fragility shows through. The soil that supports such environments is in fact low in nutrients and once devoid of the forest ecosystem then life quickly departs.

      I might be wrong with this assessment. It is a hunch. A personal assessment. Happy to hear any feedback. In the meantime, I will be out scavenging for beetles and buds.

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