Is Tweeting for Everyone?

CC licensed photo shared by Flickr user Lonics

CC licensed photo shared by Flickr user Lonics

In the same way that it is not for everyone in our everyday lives, is it not entirely possible that Twitter and blogging legitimately doesn’t apply to all educators? There’s no question that social media spaces can provide small to large benefits to pedagogues, ranging from simple utility to deep transformation respectively. However, who’s to say ?

I don’t know about you, but I have always felt comfortable and content with the idea that, while I myself cannot imagine doing this profession without my beloved learning network, perhaps it’s legitimately silly, if not irrelevant, for another educator.

What do you think: is tweeting for everyone?

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29 thoughts on “Is Tweeting for Everyone?

  1. Tweeting may not be for everyone, but I think at least having a Twitter acct. is a good thing…. read, listen when time allows, even to a few… even if one doesn’t actually “tweet”…

    But yes, who’s to say…really.

    I like the photo!

  2. This really is a great question and one that is not often addressed. I think one of the coolest things about social media is that you can cater it to meet your needs. I am an eLearning Coach so I have been able to help a lot of educators (and students) with jumping on the twitter bandwagon. I have also seen many teachers jump on that bandwagon only because they think their principals want them to. They feel guilty and/or ‘left out’ if they don’t at least sign up. Just like with our students, we need to let our teachers choose what works best for them. With that said, twitter is awesome. 🙂

    • That’s how I feel. I worry about PLN evangelism. Most people go find these tools and spaces beneficial do so out of intrinsic motivation, not because they feel pressure.

  3. Like you I can’t imagine surviving as a teacher with twitter and blogs and such. But I feel no need to convert others to my lifestyle. I get frustrated by those who believe teachers not on twitter are doing their students a disservice. I’m sure there are plenty of things I’m not doing that would be helpful to my students – I simply can’t do everything. No one can.

    • I guess one thing we could do is compare it to another profession. Fields such as journalism have been going through analogous change to what we have been experiencing in education. I think most journalists are starting to agree that not being in these spaces is somewhat of an unfulfillment of their Jon’s expectations. I guess what I’m wondering is if it’s the same for us, because I’m starting to think it isn’t necessarily.

  4. I don’t think that one needs to have a presence on Twitter to be an effective educator. But communicating with technology is a vital skill that we need to model for our students. If we are not collaborating and communicating with 21st Century tools, is it reasonable for us to think we are preparing our students for their futures? Twitter is simply one of many tools that can be used to tap into the collective wisdom of millions of educators around the world. The blogosphere is another avenue. Some like Plurk, others have found their PLN in more specialized places for music teachers, librarians, etc. There’s no right or wrong way to network. The days of being able to teach effectively by closing your classroom door and doing what’s always been done are over. The world is changing more quickly than it ever has before, information is exploding at exponential rates, and that information is more accessible than ever before. Good teaching looks different than it did 50 years ago, or even 5 years ago. It will look different 5 years down the road. Good teachers need a way to keep up with that.

    • I agree with most of your points, but I wonder how diverse a perspective we get. What voices are dominant and which ones are marginalized?

  5. I’d agree with the general premise of your post, Royan, as it relates to using the specific tool– Twitter. But what is it that had made Twitter so valuable to so many? The networking? The camaraderie with fellow educators? The rapid exchange of ideas? The ability to be actively learning and accessing valuable information? The voice we develop for our schools, students, and peers? Teachers need these things. Personally, I have found Twitter to be a great learning community, but there are other places to find these things. My question for the teacher not on Twitter is: “How/where are you finding these things?”

  6. I’ve lurked in the Twitter-verse for quite a while and just recently have decided to have a voice by relating it to my teaching life in the library. Though my preference is still f2f, I love being challenged by what the people I follow blog and tweet. I just don’t feel that I have that much to add. So, is tweeting for everyone? No, but learning is for everyone and the Twitter-verse is a great way to learn.

    • What a great point. I never thought of the fact that publishing ideas might not be for everyone but that the space themselves would be. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. My initial reaction to your question is, No. Of course Twitter isn’t for everyone. Neither is blogging. Or Pinterest. Or golf. Or running marathons. In your case, and in my case, Twitter helped us form one extension of our learning network. So we appreciate it and we see its value. Until someone finds value in Twitter, it won’t be “for them.” Do I think all educators should be networking? Yes, and I think Twitter is an excellent way to do it!

    • I think you’ve worded it so it makes sense to me. Lately, I’ve been having an existential crisis about acting as an evangelist for this type of networking. Your last two sentences have cleared up much of the fog for me. Thanks!

  9. This is a very interesting question, Royan. I don’t know that tweeting (in terms of sharing) is for everyone, but I agree with @SStewart, that it’s a good idea to have a Twitter account and follow along with the conversation. Maybe tweeting would be for more people if more saw what was shared and were inspired to join in on the conversation. Now you have me thinking … Thanks Royan!

    Aviva
    http://www.weinspirefutures.com

    • I genuinely don’t the answer to the question, which is why I asked it. I just find it strange to want everyone on twitter. I feel like there’s an element of ‘be careful what you wish for’ in it. Do you know what I mean?

      • An interesting thought, Royan! I think that Twitter is really for educators that are genuinely interested in collaborating with others, learning new ideas, sharing ideas, and being open to change. I love chatting with my Twitter PLN because of all of these reasons, and I wonder if I’d feel the same way, if the purpose of Twitter changed. I wonder if it would change if everyone joined Twitter. Maybe other questions to ask are Why do educators join Twitter? Would these reasons be applicable to everybody? Always lots to think about!

        Aviva
        http://www.weinspirefutures.com

  10. In this case the “what” (not tweeting/blogging) matters less to me than the “why”.
    If someone is busy or short on time for whatever reason… Respect. That’s none of my business. Live your life.
    But
    If you’re not sharing and learning with twitter/social media because that’s “not for you”, or it’s in any way out of your comfort zone, I wag my finger at you. Unfortunately this job is less about you, and more about the little people you teach. Your comfort zone needs to grow, because THEY need it. There are so many people that are eager to help teachers grow (many of whom have commented on this post) in this virtual space. Not taking an opportunity to interact with them because of fear/discomfort?…. Tutt tutt.

    • To which I would ask, what is causing the fear or discomfort? Is it personal? Systemic? In the grand scheme of things, those of us PLNing (for lack of a better term) are still in a tiny minority. Aren’t we a long way off from system wife adoption? Sorry, more questions without answers:)

      • A wife for the system would be awesome. She would have to be patient and have a great sense of humour 😉
        The questions are good, and worth asking… Short answer: I don’t know. I think some people live trying new things. That could be food, holiday spots, music… Others don’t. And that’s cool when you’re deciding for yourself. In a class is problematic… But if it’s a defining character trait of the teacher… Sigh. Not sure where to go with that “but”.

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