Trying Twitter

I’m trying Twitter  this week and I’m not sure it’s going to work for me. Who has a conversation like that? It’s random and quick. It feels disconnected instead of connected. If you don’t know much about Twitter, you’re going to have to go check it out because I certainly am not going to be able to explain something I don’t understand. And who are these people who sign up to “follow” me? Random people who I can’t imagine would really care what I write in 140 keystrokes or less.

When I’m writing for this blog, I have a purpose and an audience in mind at all times. I try to convey some idea or message about education, sometimes just to get it out of my head and other times to try to influence thinking. Instead this “twittering” feels schizophrenic. Maybe I’m too old to get it with this one. With blogging, I’m communicating, getting feedback, trying to get my thoughts across to a wider audience. With twitter, I’m not sure what the heck I’m trying to do. 

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  1. Kim,
    As a fellow Western New Yorker (originally from Cheektowaga), I must urge you to stick with it. When I first started on Twitter about a year ago, it was asking me “What are you doing?” My first Tweet was “Watching TV.” After writing this, I thought to myself, “Why do I care what other people are doing and even more so, why would anyone care what I’M doing?!?!” But I hung with it for a bit…then…I discovered the POWER of the network. I began following more and more educators…meeting people I would never have met in “real” life. These people were willing to share their knowledge with me to make me a better educator. The network continues to grow…stick with this and the same will happen to you!! I promise! In addition to the list mentioned above, is another great directory or Twitterers in many subjects including education. Hang in there…you’ll understand all of this soon enough…then you’ll be blown away.

    jswiatek in Twitter

    PS. Can you please do something about the Bills up there…they’re killin’ me!! 🙂

  2. Hey Kim! Happy to see you on Twitter! Trust me – it took a bit to get the hang of it but the connections I have made and what I learn from it are amazing. @angelamaiers posted something a while back about how to use Twitter time and suggested a split between sharing out things you think might be useful (your new blog post, a website, links to resources, asking questions) and the trivial/mundane (I tend to update hockey scores!) or things that your virtual friends might find funny/interesting. It works for me and I have my Tweetdeck on in the background at work as well as a few friends that update right to my phone. Hang in there and I think you will be surprised!

    Plus – with your move to Randolph – we’ll only be a tweet away!


  3. Kimberely,

    Welcome to twitter! Just hang out and learn. I think you will find it to be a great way to stay connected. I am starting my principals on it soon to be a back channel commenting area for meetings,etc. Then we will move to either nings or live blogging. We gotta manage the online world or it will manage us!

  4. I’m at the ADE Training in Singapore right now and got your new twitter name through the activities we are doing here. My husband is Deputy Supt. and had the same thoughts about Twitter. Hang in there with it and download something like Twhirl so that you don’t have to always be on the Twitter website…. you’ll get so much out of this new network! 🙂

    My Twitter is: adecardy
    My husband is: atorris

  5. I originally started Twitter because of @Teach42 and @dwarlick, two education technologists and great thinkers.
    I’ve found Twitter more worthwile than blogging recently. Start by asking a few open-ended questions, following a few people with similar interests, and replying when you have something to contribute.
    Rob (@rorowe)

  6. Hey, I’m back. I did my research for you, and found a bunch of teachers on Twitter.

    Check out this wiki, that @mrsb posted:

    All the educators you would like on Twitter, defined by the type of education they teach, primary, secondary, etc.

    Follow some of them, respond to some of their tweets. If their updates are protected, request to follow them. Make sure your bio has your website in it and mention that you are also a teacher. I’m sure you will find that Twitter is an invaluable resource for you.

    Again, good luck!


  7. Twitter is hard to explain to people, however, after NYSCATE 07, I started and used it quite a bit to build a social network of national presenters and people that they followed. Then, I would start each day just ‘lurking’ and looking at what other topics people wrote about. I found tons of great websites and ideas about how others were using technology in education. Eventually, I started to tweet more. Now, I still have a very strong network on Twitter, but have used Plurk more because each post that I make keeps the responses right beneath it. Especially when I’m at a school (and Plurk is not blocked) and I’m with a teacher, when I return I can easily see what has been shared.
    Your well on your way with a very strong base of educational leaders, that is the main thing. As that grows, so will the amount of knowledge when you need an answer (and for me that is quite often!)

    Mark Carls

  8. Hi, Kim:

    Hang in there. I started Twitter about three weeks ago just to learn what it was all about. I spent about two of those weeks asking “so what?” Then I went to the 10 easy steps mentioned above and got much more out of it. I’m still a novice working out the kinks and trying to find my place and join the conversation, but fellow tweeters have pointed me to some great links about education. Give it time.

  9. Kim,
    I too had the same thoughts when it emerged. For a long time I held out and just kept reading about it. Finally, I decided that if I was to be informed well, I needed to try it myself. So I signed up for an account and found some folks to follow (you look for people you consider to be influential in your field and you then see who they are following and who is following them). I have found that I benefit just from watching the 140 character conversations going by. I hear of resources, online learning opportunities, invitations to participate in events, wikis, blogs,… and yes, the silly and the mundane. I would guess that the best connections you will have in your network are with those folks that you have met personally or have been involved with in some way. However, it is surprising the connections one makes with those one has never met.

    You drop those folks who don’t seem to add value to your network and you continue looking for folks who can. You are in total control of when and how you use it. What do you have to lose? All I can suggest is give it a go. It may just grow on you.

  10. Kimberly,

    Welcome to Twitter. You can find me at @PurpleCar.

    Firstly, don’t try to explain Twitter. Just send people here:
    Twitter in Plain English.

    Secondly, Twitter can be many things, so don’t try to categorize it right now. Just check in once in a while, share something, and see what comes back. I found this blog post because of Twitter.

    I personally use Twitter for a distraction from writing, but also for breaking news, to get a sense of public opinion, and sometimes to quickly ‘crowd source’ – which means throwing a question out there and gathering answers. This is especially helpful if you are looking for crock pot recipes… 🙂

    There are a lot of educators in Twitter. Check out @JohnHermann, @DaveLaMorte, and @SummerWorkation to start out.

    You will definitely find your community. Once you do, the conversations will enhance your life and work. Good luck!

    -Christine (@PurpleCar)

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