“To tweet or not to tweet?” Question for educators

The use of technology and social media has featured prominently at recent WEA tutor events and it’s good to see more and more colleagues getting involved in blogging and tweeting. People are using Twitter to share links to interesting resources and case studies. Recent examples include links to a couple of tutor blogs on enriching ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses with museum visits and reading challenges. See http://bit.ly/1c8vnhW and http://wp.me/p3hKtB-3W.

There are many benefits in tweeting, or micro-blogging in 140 characters or fewer, including some listed at http://bit.ly/Y3jfpz but it can seem a bit confusing, or even pointless, at first.

This video by Marc-André Lalande is a quick and straightforward introduction to Twitter for educators, especially people who can’t see its relevance or think it’s too time-consuming to use.

It’s 5 minutes long if you exclude the credits.

Twitter is a social medium with huge crowds of tweeters who have different interests, expectations, prejudices and codes of behaviour so people need to become savvy about how to weigh up the pros and cons of what and how we communicate – as educators do in practice in other everyday situations.

Today’s news has highlighted a dark side to Twitter as hostile tweeters bombarded a UK journalist, Caroline Criado-Perez, with multiple threats to rape and kill her following her successful campaign to have Jane Austen’s image shown on Bank of England £10 notes. At the time of writing, a 21-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of harassment offences against Criado-Perez, who campaigned for a female figure to appear on British banknotes

So, what do you think? To tweet or not to tweet, and why (not)? What are your experiences – good or bad?

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About Ann Walker
Adult education and lifelong learning specialist and campaigner. LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1GI0QK1

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