A Panegyric: Twitter is not ‘just’ for stalking celebrities.

I love Twitter.  There.  I’ve said it.  Judge all you like – but it is one of those things I’ve become a raving lunatic zealot about.

This is a relatively new state of being.  I’ve actually had my Twitter account (@AKeenReader – ahem – follow me!) for a while, and only followed literary types and all things Shakespeare.  I rarely tweeted, mostly retweeting the amazing comments and discoveries others made.  Last year, I used it extensively to find up-to-date resources to share with colleagues and students – again, solely of the literature variety.

Then I went to ULearn (yup, sorry, that again) and still wondered why every presenter told you their Twitter handle.  Were these people that desperate for followers?  “O brave new world that has such people in it” – do we now count our worth based on our follower total?!

Ah, the naivety of the ignorant.

Looking back (a whopping three months), I’m not quite sure when or how the change came into being.  I guess it was one of those tipping point things.  I did keep an eye on the ULearn13 hashtag.  I did start to follow some of the presenters I heard (shout out to @virtuallykaren and @ClaireAmosNZ).  I started blogging, and came across some other blogs I really found interesting (thanks @GeoMouldey and @tomwhitby and @grantwiggins).  And then, I found #edchat.

#Edchat is, exactly as it sounds, a Twitter chat about education.  It is run out of the US, but is an open forum, moderated by educators on a democratically chosen topic.  It runs in real time, everyone contributing, but of course in 140 characters at a go.  Even better (sorry #edchat) there’s a NZ version aptly named #edchatNZ (hosted by @MissDSciTeacher).

Now, none of this really tells you why (or even how – for that, I strongly recommend Edudemic, and this blog post by Joann Fox is awesome too – I won’t cover that here) you should be on Twitter.  So, here it comes.

Got a passion?  Need to find an up-to-the-minute resource?  Want to connect with other learners/educators?  Want to collaborate on a project?  Want to pose a question?  Want inspiration?  Twitter is the place for you.  Rarely is it that I check my Twitter feed (which, yes, my husband will tell you I do obsessively) and don’t find something quirky or thought-provoking or motivational.

I love Twitter and you should too.

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Degrees of Engagement

Being an English teacher, and placing great importance on words (see my post on students as learners here as an example), I love this post from Dan Haesler on ‘engagement’.  I’ve some more thinking to do on this – so watch for another edit/revision on this post perhaps, but I endorse the provocative questions being posed here.

Engagement in Schools: A Case of Mistaken Identity?