Insomnia strikes and I happened to get up early on Saturday morning and jumped onto Twitter — just in time for #CatholicEdChat. What a wonderful way to begin the weekend. I appreciate the leadership of Nancy Caramanico, Barb Gilman and Nick Senger for getting this going.
There are a number of reasons why you might want to participate:
• To share what you value about twitter.
• To see what others value about twitter.
• To celebrate the power and wisdom of your Personal Learning Network.
• To find interesting people to follow on Twitter.
• To commit to trying out twitter for a month.
Your new tweet shows up on the Gr8Tweets wiki and on twitter searches for others to see and share.
Feel free to follow Gr8tweets on Twitter and Gr8tweets will follow you back, (this part is totally optional).
Even if you aren’t on twitter or you don’t want to participate, be sure to check out the Gr8Tweets wiki and see some of the reasons why so many educators are finding Twitter a valuable tool!
Last week I had a teachable moment when the news of the US Airways plane crashed into the Hudson river. I had just saw a re-tweet from Andy Carvin’s post on Twitter about the plane crash about an half hour after it happened. He had just re-posted the photo from @jkrum showing the plane floating in the Hudson river with all the people standing on the wings.
My high school journalism class just walked into the room and I gathered the students around and showed them this example of citizens breaking the news before the mainstream media could even report it. Students were amazed by the photos and I briefly showed them how I found the information on Twitter. A few kids reported that they had used their cell phones to take photos of events outside of school but most had not considered themselves to be “citizen journalists” (yet!).
In this day of participatory media – everyone can report the news. In Will Richardson’s demo of Prezi, he demonstrates the unfolding of this event that started with Twitter, Flickr and NPR news. I am planning on showing this to my journalism class to show them the power of the network today.
Twitter is one of the ways I stay connected to my Personal Learning Network (PLN). Besides the obvious twitter clients like Twirl, these are the lastest twitter toys I have found useful:
Twitter search – http://search.twitter.com/ This search tool is essential if you want to keep tabs on current topics. For example, if you are attending a conference – search for the conference acronym and view discussions.
Twitturly – http://twitturly.com/ – Twitturly is a service for tracking what URLs people are talking about as they talk about them on Twitter.
Friend or Follow – http://friendorfollow.com/ Who are you following that’s not following you back? Who’s following you that you’re not following back? Find out!
TweetStats – http://www.tweetstats.com/Graph your Twitter Stats including Tweets per hour, Tweets per month, Tweet timeline and Reply statistics. My twitter usage definitely comes and goes in waves. Here are my tweet stats displayed as a Wordle. Maybe a little less self-promotion is in order <<blush>>.