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To Google or To Tweet?

April 22, 2011 Leave a comment

During technology professional development this week, I facilitated a session on how educators are using social media for professional growth and learning. I showed the group many of the valuable resources and media regularly shared such as Classroom 2.0, EduPLN, and Tom Barrett’s Interesting Ways Series (Thanks @davidwees for sharing). I also shared many articles and blog posts related to social media in education such as the following:

In my efforts to promote using social media tools such as Twitter, I often field thoughtful questions when approached with something new. Usually, the why questions? In this particular case, why would I use a medium such as Twitter when I can Google what I am looking for? It was a fair question that I had to pause to think about. My immediate answer was that Twitter provides a human two-way element to sharing information that Google cannot provide. And that Twitter allows you to connect with educators on a deeper level by exchanging thoughts and comments to grow as a professional. Naturally, I thought, why not demonstrate the power of Twitter and ask this question to my PLN. And just for kicks I Googled the same question I posed on Twitter and this is what I got back from Google.

Here are the responses from Twitter:

  • @techforschools Twitter is where I discover what I don’t know. Google is where I search for answers to an known problem. #edtech
  • @mpondu Twitter information & searches are vetted by trusted communities, which can be refined to common interests.
  • @george_haines Information is a small piece. Cultivating relationships for collabs, connections is a huge value. #edchat
  • @thedippyhippy Because Google will not provide you with the accompanying advice and professional experience that a twitter PLN offers. #edchat
  • @matt_arguello Google searches everything. If you have a good PLN, getting info is much faster and relevant. More personal too.
  • @jcorippo Twitter answers back in conversation and discussion in a way a search cannot… #edchat #edtech
  • @dmchugh675 you usual get a better quality of reply from your PLN. Specific links, advice, things to avoid etc. #edchat #edtech
  • @kelalford Because Twitter is like having 100 people search Google for you and test our the site before they recommend it with ideas
  • @ugaodawg Real conversations with real people.
  • @franze98 pln can be a more trustworthy, up-to-date, real life situations source. #edtech #eduit
  • @carptracy Twitter is the ultimate edtech filter. All the best resources in one, easily accessible place.
  • @seanjcl Googling info works well when you know what you want. Twitter can provide you value you didn’t know you wanted.
  • @mrblakelylhs because your #PLN on #Twitter does the work. #Google search means you have to sort through the millions of sites out there.
  • @inquirebook With Google, you find what you look for. With Twitter as a PLN, you find what you didn’t even know to look for. #edchat #edtech
  • @samgliksman Often the most valuable information isn’t what you knew you wanted…the value of Twitter is in the knowledge you “stumble upon”
  • @teacha Twitter provides you with food for thought to develop a ? or ?s to discuss and ponder some more.… (cont) http://deck.ly/~NfrTK
  • @megormi Your tweeple are a passion focused PLN ready 2 help
  • @becky_ellis_ twitter = curated search by an expert in yr field, whereas google ans. must conform to algorithmic formula not always recent
  • @lcarroll94 when you google you get everyone’s answers… twitter customizes your PLN with ppl YOU select and trust. #edtech #edchat
  • @jasonschmidt123 Twitter helps me find stuff I didn’t know I was looking for!
  • @shighley can get info from people I know/trust vs. paid and popular placements on Google.
  • @magistram I rely more on personal opinions/experience than on Google’s measure of importance. #edchat
  • @heidisiwak Google or Tweet? Tweet. Google is too inefficient and only shows what it thinks I want to see.
  • @millerg6 I’m new to Twitter. It is offering a real time, rich two way conversation that Google simply can’t offer.

#Hashtag Question?

December 6, 2009 1 comment

It is unusual to blog about a microblogging question, but I couldn’t express it in 140 characters.

The hashtag concept on Twitter allows for PLN conversations to stay focused on a particular topic. For example, the #edtech has been a popular hashtag used by many educational technology professionals and teachers to discuss topics related on instructional technologies. I am a follower of such hashtags and enjoy exchanging dialogue with the other people in the PLN. I am also a fan of using such hashtags at conferences to further reflect and extend the conversation in real-time. For example, I followed the #dl09 hashtag for DevLearn 2009. I wasn’t present this year, but was able to get some resourceful information by simply following the conversation.

My question is related to Tweeting at a conference when using hashtags. My dilemma is that our conference is uniquely large, but also intimate to our charter school network. I want to implement a hashtag conversation for our conference, but want the dialogue to be closed to only participants in the network. I tried thinking of solutions such as asking all participants to protect their Tweets that week, but I find that too difficult to enforce. This is where I am stuck without a solution…Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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