I have a confession to make…I like (and use) Twitter. I know, I know you are thinking to yourself “who wants to know that Tom Butler is now eating supper” or some sort of similar inane nonsense. Let me tell you, Twitter can be (and is) used for more than to update the social happenings of celebrities or common folk. As a matter of fact, Twitter has been the BEST new way that I have found to learn about the world we live in. Let me explain.
Twitter can (and is) used for inane updates on the minutia of people’s lives. I thought the same things for a few years. Then last year I was reading about the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the article pointed out that Lance Armstrong (the 7 time winner of the Tour de France and cancer survivor) had more Twitter followers then the Wall Street Journal had subscribers. Wow, that got my attention…so I joined Twitter and started to “follow” Lance Armstrong. He posts passionately about the need for preventative measures to reduce the rate of cancer. (I suggest you research his foundation if you are interested in cancer prevention) My education for the positive uses of Twitter started with the realization that good social outcomes could come from passing information through this medium. My “Twitter education” followed four steps.
1. I slowly started to familiarize myself with Twitter and how to control the various features available. I started by “following” Lance Armstrong. I realized that I do not have to “tweet” if I do not want to and I could just “follow” people (which means that when they tweet, I get their update).
2. I then searched for educators on Twitter and found incredible resources available. Since Twitter only allows a person to tweet 140 characters most people that I “follow” simply link to a web site or a blog they find interesting with a very short introduction on their tweet.
3. I then started to notice that many organizations and web sites have a Twitter account. Some of these were interesting to me and I started to follow them. I also found that some of my favorite authors use Twitter quite a bit.
4. Finally, I have used my Twitter account as a repository of information that I glean from the internet. I simply tweet (link) information to myself which allows me to know where this interesting information is (easy access).
I have since stopped following Lance Armstrong because I did not want to have an overload of tweets from the 14 people/organizations that I follow. However, the educators and authors that I follow have helped me gain a deeper understanding of education, society, and how to improve the world we live in. I am a big fan (as if you couldn’t tell) of Twitter as a source for great information. I welcome you to go to my Twitter account (@TomButler10) and see how I use this web 2.0 resource. You will have to get an account to do a search, but the accounts are free.
P.S. Once you have an account, you can "tweet" this blog entry by clicking on the Twitter icon at the end of the blog entry.