If schools embraced the power of Twitter…
- Twitter’s apparent frivolous motto: “What are you doing?” would gain full potential and extend to: “What are you thinking, learning, discovering, “visioning”, designing, listening to, reading, blogging about?“.
- Barriers between admin, faculty, staff, students, parents and community would dissolve in a cloud of connected passions, unsuspected ties, latent connections and opportunities irrespective of age, role, status, and class – grade or socio-economic.
- Teachers’ meetings would turn into an ongoing (transparent, and accessible) stream of resources, professional development, bouncing-off ideas and experience on what works and does not, with instant targeted feedback:
“Tweeting is like directed Googling. Instead of doing a Google search, you’re harnessing human power, a human-generated search engine driven by education professionals who are passionate and have determined that having an online presence will have a dramatic, positive impact on their professional practice.” Eric Sheninger
- Locked cabinets would open-up their resources to be used, mixed, remixed and attributed.
- Sharing, collaborating, and attributing each other’s work would be the new norm.
- Upcoming conferences, would be public knowledge, repeatedly announced, retweeted, and back-channelled, so great ideas can spread to those who can’t attend – and supplement the experience for those attending.
- The 140 characters limit would become the art of minimizing thought in a nutshell – Good or bad is debatable…
- Minority voices would no longer be silenced by those who:
“embrace the status quo and drown out any tribe member who dares to question authority and the accepted order” (Godin, 2008, p 4) Tribes: We need you to lead us.
- Competition would give way to collaboration with a growing understanding that the more you share the more you gain…
It is commonplace for the “unfamiliar” to undermine the power of social media: “I don’t tweet I don’t twat, I don’t Facebook I face life.” slammed a recentkeynote at a tech conference. Yet, Twitter remains one of the cheapest, most accessible, real-time, and transparent tools to connect otherwise inaccessible educators to Professional Learning Networks and mitigate the potential drowning resulting from isolation, and help develop gills together.
So, better hang-out than be hung out to dry…
And for what it’s worth, “unfamiliar” is how I – and most people for that matter – feel everytime a new technology surfaces, evolves, spins-out, or matures into a worthwhile applicative tool. That’s ok. We deal with it, shake the unease, and try to run with it. Sometimes we fail, make a fool of ourselves, but we’re trying it and more often than not, that growth, experimentation and learning process is where we get the most out of it, and is also most likely one of the key skills we need to teach the next generations; the ability to learn, unlearn, adapt, search, evaluate, experiment, and think critically with their own experience – and embrace that process.
And yes, its often them teaching me that.
I love my job.