Twitter, What Have You Done for Me Lately?

Over the past year I have moved from being a haphazard lurker on Twitter to a conscientious participant. The “Ted-ish” talk HHS student Ashley Olafsen delivered at MassCUE last fall (as well as my own experience as a MassCUE presenter) compelled me to reconsider the way I interact with the Twitter community.

Inspired by my student’s daring and message, I jumped into the participatory culture of Twitter — ignoring fears about typos (they happen), squelching worries about what others will think (still wrestling with this one), & eager to contribute (not just take).

Certainly, Twitter has been a great tool for sharing information. Walking around school with my phone in hand allowed me a quick, convenient way to tell stories about and share the great, real work that students & teachers do daily. But, looking back over these past few months, I was struck by what Twitter has done for my own professional practice. Over this summer alone I

These are some the many concrete examples of how my participation in the Twitter community has positively impacted me as an educator. What has Twitter done for you lately?

CODA: Even as I celebrate what Twitter has done for me, I remain cognizant of the fact that the Twitter #edu community is not “activism” in and of itself, nor is it without faults. Retweeting a post on #BlackLivesMatter does not make me an activist. Long lists of shoutouts to #eduheroes will not change transform students’ educational experiences. Not all chats, exchanges, and tweets will be genuine, meaningful, and/or productive. But the easily accessible community-building and resource/idea sharing that Twitter allows does provide the capacity for connecting to and with others in ways that can make a difference in our daily lives and our teaching practice.

Which brings me back full circle to why I moved from haphazard lurker to conscientious participant: You get out of Twitter what you put into it. Please do all you can to make Twitter a space that matters.


One thought on “Twitter, What Have You Done for Me Lately?

  1. I love this, Colleen. It’s spot on. I was a lurker first and then jumped in with both feet and haven’t looked back. My most challenging thing with Twitter is balance. At times, it takes up a lot of my life as I am almost addicted to learning and communicating with people who get me and get it. It’s so true that we get what we put in and that’s why more folks have to contribute at their own level of comfort. Thanks for your awesome contribution.


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