I never thought that teachers would embrace the technology that limits thoughts to 160 characters. Teachers are all about fleshing out ideas and supporting one's thoughts.
That being said, one would naturally assume Twitter is a natural enemy of teachers. But Friday's class changed my mind. I never thought of Twitter as a platform to spread creative lesson plans. Searching relevant hashtags, following edubloggers, responding to lesson suggestions- all are much more productive (and more interesting) than reading what your former neighbor had for breakfast this morning. Twitter makes it easy to quickly filter relevant posts, and collects posts from a plethora of other tweeters in one convenient location.
My sophomore year of undergrad, I took a class called "Technology and the Humanities." We had to create audio essays, wiki pages, write reaction blogs (much like this one...), post our feelings about class each afternoon on Twitter, and much more. That class made me accept the role of technology in every day life a little more, but I still thought Twitter was a useless platform that would die out within the year. Yes, it allowed students to makes comments and react to class. It was nice for students that hated writing and gladly accepted the 160 character limit. It was nice to think that students had to be creative and learn to be concise because of the space limit. It was nice to have instant feedback from one's peers. But all those "nice" things didn't seem very valuable to me. I felt like other online platforms would allow for more nuanced and thought out responses.
Using Twitter to share links- now that is more like it. Posting a quick snippet to let others know what a link is going to share and having a tinyurl link to a blog or website combines the best of Twitter and Blog worlds. It is like having a bunch of headlines to scan (like a newspaper) and choosing which to read up on. Thoughts don't have to be cryptic because of character limits. Teachers can still have faith that people can expand on their ideas and actually use descriptive words instead of using the bare bones of a sentence and throwing grammar to the wind. "C U l8er" and "BRB" don't have to replace real speech. Hoorah! Proper English still has a chance!
I am still a bit skeptical about the personal websites to share with employers. Sarcasm and jokes are still difficult to decipher at times- especially when reading something without the author present. Even if I screen everything I put on my website, I don't like the idea of having a cyberspace trail that I can never get rid of. The website can be useful for interviews where people can't meet in person- but I think Skype is still a better alternative. Things are less likely to be lost in translation when you can see and hear the other person. I fear getting to a point where I feel I need to self-censor so much my true personality can't shine through. I'll be so worried about seeming professional I can't be myself. I can't be there to read the mood in the room (or the cyber connection online), so I can't decide if it is OK to start letting my humorous side out. The website leaves me exposed, without being there to defend myself, and reduced to the bare bones of what I think someone else wants to see with no room for adapting during the process (as in when the interviewer is looking at the cite). Call me old fashioned, but I would prefer practicing my people skills.