Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Twitter Power

The first day of Peel District School Board’s Teaching and Learning in a Digital World Conference (#TLDWPeel) was amazing! Day 1’s keynote speaker, Ruben Puentedura, is an incredible thinker, speaker and teacher so if you ever get the chance to see him or hear him speak – do it! I could not do justice with a summary here so please go to his website, Google him, or watch videos of him on YouTube if you can’t see him in person.

I mention him though, because it was while listening to Ruben this morning that I paraphrased one of the ideas in this Tweet:


You can see that there were a couple of favorites and 7 retweets – which is kind of cool, but more importantly, I got replies which sparked conversations and deeper thinking.

The comments on my Tweet today pushed me to ask a lot of questions. Why exactly did I Tweet that? Should I have added quotations marks because this wasn’t my idea? Am I ‘using’ Twitter correctly? Why did I keep my student blogs private? Why didn’t I open them up so that they could have a global audience? Why aren’t I promoting my blog? Why don’t I write a post daily instead of weekly?

Brian Woodland is right – it is mostly a matter of time. Plus there is some risk-aversion as well. However, if you read the other comments you’ll find that many people think that blogs are a great tool.

Ruben is right though. My tweets & my blog are a way to share information, express my thoughts and reflect BUT when I get feedback like I did today, it isn’t just a thought that floats into cyberspace – it becomes a conversation and a push to think. #loveit!

I can’t wait for Day 2 of the #TLDWPeel Conference tomorrow. George Couros is the keynote speaker and he is the main reason I wanted to attend in the first place!



  1. First of all Debbie, thank you for your kind words and the BIG pressure you put on me in one paragraph! Make sure you come up and say hi tomorrow!!!

    The other thing that I wanted to say is that, although the audience and the connection is important when using social media, I learned that you need to write for yourself and not worry about the audience. Once you start doing that, the audience will come. Your passion for your subject will draw them in but it does take time!

    I am looking forward to meeting you tomorrow and it was great connecting virtually today.

  2. Thank you George - for the Twitter pushback and for your comment here. I just started to blog and wasn't concerned about my audience (in fact a little scared somebody would read my posts or think they were terrible) but when Ruben mentioned that blogs should be the start of a conversation, I really thought about it in terms of my students. Giving them the chance to have a wider audience and the opportunity to have conversations with people outside of their own school would definitely be motivating, especially for kids who don't like to write.

    I will continue with my blog and keep your feedback in mind. Thanks again :)

  3. Thank you Debbie for your post about Twitter Power. And thank you George for sharing the importance of personal voice in writing.

    A Twitter tweet provides a taste of the thinking and may lead to 140 character conversation. A tweet can be a rapid fire statement where the author gave very little thinking time. A tweet is lost into cyberspace after 7 days.

    A blog allows both the writer and reader to dig deeper into a thought, opinion or observation. A blog post allows the writer more time to reflect, spell check and best represent their idea. A blog post could last for years in cyberspace.

    In my opinion, educators need both Twitter and blogs for professional learning.

    1. Thanks for your comment David! I'm newish to Twitter and blogging and both are still a bit scary 1)I'm used to my writing being private 2) I write posts quickly so there are bound to be mistakes and 3) they are such a change from most published works that are researched, revised, edited etc.

      I agree with you though, I think Twitter and blogs are both valuable for professional learning - with a big stress on the learning :)

  4. Debbie, your blog post is now listed on "Teaching & Learning in a Digital World" observations wiki page created by @DavidSpencerEdu

  5. Great Introductory Comments Debbie!

    I am a Methodology Instructor at the Department of Education, Brock University and cohort advisor with the Ed Tech Cohort.

    Yes it is new territory to explore!
    Look how much learning has taken place just due to the fact you took the risk to Blog and Twitter. You have introduced me to Ruben Puentedura as an outstanding speaker so I will research him. George Couros of course is outstanding for the messages he makes so you will certainly enjoy him. He is a twitter / blogger pro! Great teacher and change agent!

    I enjoyed Brian Woodlands comments because the blog comments he made promoted me to reflect on where Blogging is going! Will it stay or be a fad? Is it an effective high yield teaching tool to promote learning? Well I read your Blog and I am glad I did! I am thinking about his comments too. "Write for yourself!" Great reflection tool for teachers who are reflective practitioners. It is a great way to consolidate ideas!

    Davids and your running comments are excellent too. Both tools have their purpose and are very different.

    So Debbie. I do not think you should be intimidated to write a blog or Tweet again! You have been an effective 21st century teacher and I have benefited from your entry! Awesome job!

    I am still looking at the time management challenges to effectively use this information hiway. But I am sure if I keep following George and his comments I will figure it out!

    Enjoy tomorrows presentations!

  6. Thank you Mark! I'm blushing but that emoticon won't embed :)

    I might be intimidated but I will keep trying new things, making mistakes, questioning and learning. I've learned so much from George Couros, Aviva Dunsiger and other great educators through Twitter just by following along and reading. I'm just at the beginning of the interaction stage and it is definitely an interesting learning curve.

    I'd like to hear more about your insights into the time management challenges.