Monday, December 14, 2009

Twitter: Twit or not to twit?

Twitter scares me. For all its popularity, I thought I need to explore and have a look at it for myself satisfaction.
I think, I am in a minority on this one – ‘The feeling of connectedness’ Twitterers can get trick of the brain into thinking of having a meaningful interaction, while another part of the brain knows something crucial to human survival is missing. (I have to find the theory).
Compare to having coffee with your next-door neighbour could do more for your brain than a thousand Twitter updates. This doesn’t mean there isn’t important issues and news that can be source from twitter. While in the same argument has been going around forever, and is the same claim made about television, that doesn't make it untrue.
Again, this doesn't mean that it's not worth it and highly valuable for people to stay connected to distant family and friends, I'm just saying that it's worth a look at whether that might be lulling some folks into a false sense of "I'm connected" at the expense of real-life connections.

Ironically, services like Twitter are simultaneously leaving some people with a feeling of not being connected, by feeding the fear of not being in the loop. By elevating the importance of being "constantly updated," it amplifies the feeling of missing something if you're not checking Twitter (or Twittering) with enough frequency.

Seimen’s connectivism stated some significant trends in learning.
Many of the processes previously handled by learning theories (especially in cognitive information processing) can now be off-loaded to, or supported by, technology.
Know-how and know-what is being supplemented with know-where (the understanding of where to find knowledge needed).

I like to see twitter and its effectiveness in the classroom. I can use it as a hook- What is on twitter today or let say what people say about this??? If you are also wondering you can also twit me neth967

Cheers Mary-Ann

Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retreived November 7, 2009, from


  1. hi
    I have had a quick look around your blog and found it very intersting and informative, and will be back to read on and engage my self with some of you articales you have written. good work

  2. Thanks Lynn,

    It is an interesting journey.I try to inform my fellow my readers/Learning Manager as I reflect on which ICT tools I could use and its effectiveness.I gather we really have to use it first to see if it works. Blogging is one way to find out and see how other people see it.
    Cheers Mary-Ann

  3. Hi! Mary-Ann

    I must say that I am also not familiar with Twitter. I use Facebook extensively and I don't need another one to connect with people. I know sounds strange as Facebook and twitter are totally different thing. It is not because of actual tools, I think it is because of my time management. I am also afraid once I start Twitter, I will be spending a time like Facebook. It just the way I am. You might find interesting to read the article called "Why We Twitter: Understanding Microblogging
    Usage and Communities" which you can find via CQU library data base under ACM digital library.


  4. Hi Makiko,

    Too many to choose from...dont you think? We need to analyse which tool is useful in what way and why...
    Thanks for that source I need convincing.
    Cheers Mary-Ann

  5. Hi Mary-ann

    I haven't caught on to the twitter trend yet. None of my friends use this tool either and we all fall under the generation y supposedly, "technology-obsessed" age group.

    In my opinion, I think twitter is better used as a marketing and pr tool to increase people's interest and awareness in certain people/brands/events etc. The world of celebrity is very appealing to many people these days and I think this is where the popularity of twitter stems from as people become more and more intrigued with their personal lives.

    However, I can see how it could be adapted for educational settings. Having class questions, updates, and competitions posted through the site to increase students engagement with the course would most certaintly be beneficial to their learning experience. I think the biggest challenge here would be to monitor exactly what students are following and how to limit its use to purely educational contexts.


  6. You are right Lyneale...Using Twitter, monitoring will be a challenge. Compare to a well design Webquest as a teacher you still know that they are on task. As it is now, it can be hard to check and insure that the student are on task when it comes to research.
    Cheers Mary-Ann

  7. Hi Mary-ann,
    I have recently started using twitter in a professional capacity, as a way of getting connected with other people who are interested in the same things that I am.
    I am still deciding how useful it is, but so far I have found some interesting links to new developments, articles, websites etc, that I might not otherwise have come across.
    I think that using twitter can give you access to a big pool of ideas and resources, though like any of these social networking applications, it has the downside of connecting us in with a potentially overwhelming amount of people and information!

  8. Hi Diane
    Thats what i was always scared of as well is the time-effectiveness of the communication. Maybe I need a blackberry or iPhone to make the most out of my time? I got off Facebook when i originally started distance education as i found it so distracting! But i am loving my blog as it helps me to consolidate my ideas. I guess its knowing when and where to use the technology and self discipline with time management - one of my worst failings!!

  9. Hi Mary-Ann,
    I have seen Twitter used effectively at large conferences where a separate data projector was set up and a #tag used for all Tweets pertaining to that conference. The presenter could stop occasionally and look at the tweets/questions and address them. Another benefit of this is that people who can't actually attend the conference can be kept up to date about key points of the presentation by participants tweeting them with all relevant links to resources. This is called "back channelling" and is a very effective way of developing some higher order thinking around some of the issues being raised during the presentation without interrupting the flow of the presentation.


  10. Thanks everyone on your comments, suggestions and ideas.
    I am now beginning and grasp on how effective twitter can be especially to find information and issues in a large scale of opinions.
    I like the idea of accessing resources,information and having to consiladate these informations inmy own time is a great tool to have.