This is not a post on why educators should be on Twitter or how wonderful it is to create a global professional learning community… Many others have done that already! I just have something that I need to get off my chest.
Recently at some professional events, I have had a number of people come up to me and say things like “Wow, Iram you tweet a lot”, “You just love seeing your face on that twitter stream don’t you?”, “How can you listen to the presentation if you are tweeting the whole time?”. I want to respond that if they think I tweet a lot, they’ve seen nothing!
While made in a joking tone, I can’t help feeling like there is a tone of judgment happening with these comments… as though I am wasting time, or even worse being obsessed about my ego. I could just forget about it and keep tweeting, but I feel like I need to make some things clear, defend myself and possibly defend fellow tweeters at the same time.
Tweeting for me is like writing notes. As a presenter shares their knowledge, quotes and resources that I would like to remember and refer to later, I tweet to record these gems. Now why don’t I just write notes or type them into my computer, why do I have to do this on Twitter? Well, when others tweet what they see as gems from the presentation, I can reflect on their thoughts and make my own thoughts which add to my notes. I sometimes retweet exactly what they said or modify their tweet to add my own thoughts to it. At times these tweets spur a side conversation right at the moment or even a few days later. Written notes or notes typed on my computer are a dead end for my notes. On Twitter, my notes come alive and are expanded on and spread to others who missed out on the event or didn’t catch exactly what the speaker was saying. My professional learning community expands in the process and the presentation experience becomes way more than just sitting and mulling over my thoughts in my own head or with the person beside me.
I know this post is probably mostly going to be read by those people who already use Twitter and love it; however, maybe I can help you folks justify your use when THAT person comes up to you and decides that they absolutely need to comment on YOUR Twitter use… and maybe, just maybe, you may convince THEM to tweet.