96,97,98,99…….100 twitter followers!

At the time of writing (15th July 2009, 13:07) we have 99 twitter followers, ok we’re no Stephen Fry! I actually find it quite flattering that 99 people want to listen to what we have to say, we think that some of it quite interesting. There is a lot of debate about twitter and its merits, how to use it, business model etc. I’ve been interested to watch how the online community has used Twitter in so many different ways and shaped it to fit their needs. Already we are seeing Twitter spam, Twitter SEO and Twitter lead finding services all of which have followed the trends of previous online services.

Personally I’ve got a twitter fon on my iphone and have found it be really useful for quickly catching up on news whilst on the move and I’ve been able to communicate with people who normally I would never get the chance to. Bradly Wiggins is an english cyclist currently doing extremely well in the Tour De France who has replied to his following that his messages keep him going. Mark Beaumont is an adventure cyclist who is using twitter to keep in touch with his followers and I’m sure from his perspective its a lot easier than starting up the laptop and typing in a long form email.

From a learning perspective there has been quite a debate about how it can be used and whether it is of any use at all. In the past few days this has been highlighted further by the publication of sections of a report by an Intern at Morgan Stanley about how teenagers use Twitter. The FT and the Guardian both ran the piece as lead articles and its generated quite a buzz on the internet news boards. I’m not sure what it tells us about the use of twitter in learning!

Interestingly there are people using Twitter with young people and with schools how it can be used in education and training. I was preparing for a speaking event on game based learning last week when I came across a research video from UTC Dallas on Twitter in the classroom. I’ve also found that the University of Minnesota are also using social media and twitter in the classroom. Both videos show how they are using twitter and social networks to increase the contributions made within the classroom. As one teacher says in the video “If you are not engaging with the call you might as well hit a brick wall.” They’ll be lots more debate on the merits of twitter, if you are interested then these 2 videos might just provide a starting point.

At the E2BN conference Twitter and Twitterfall was used to great effect to capture questions from the floor during the seminars, ok you needed a mobile device with twitter but it allowed for a much more open question and answer flow. This was an event largely attended by teachers and I was amazed by the sheer numbers who were contributing. I’ll certainly be using twitter fall in future presentations alongside the traditional question and answer sessions.

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