Should Educators Be Using Twitter? #ELTchat #edtech #technology #cpchat #ntchat #education #ukedchat #esl #CCK11 #lrnchat #elearning #esl #Teachers

US Twitter Statistics (Credit: Google images)

Isn’t everyone using Twitter? If we compare Twitter and Facebook, Twitter has 190 million users while Facebook has 500 million users. There you have it.

Everyone isn’t using Twitter. As a PLN, the numbers clearly favour Facebook. It’s not even close.

But the nagging question remains: Are we missing something, as educators, if we aren’t using Twitter? Is Twitter worth your time?

Let’s look at how most people use Twitter. According to a report by the Pew Research Center in November, 2010:
“The most popular activities include sharing personal updates (19% of Twitter users say they do this at least once a day; 72% never do this), posting reflections on their work life (12% do this at least once a day; 62% never do this), and sending tweets with links to news stories (12% do this at least once a day; 55% never do this). Sharing videos and posting locations in tweets were the least popular Twitter activities among Pew’s respondents. Retweeting is fairly common, with 18% of people surveyed saying they retweet once a day or more.

The findings show that nearly half of Twitter’s users check the site for new content every few weeks or less. Nearly a quarter (24%) check Twitter several times a day, while 21% say they never “check for material posted by others.” Twenty percent consult Twitter less than every few weeks.”

There you have it. In simple language: Twitter isn’t worth your time.

Twitter: Not Worth It? (Credit: Google images)

Yet the nagging question remains: Are we missing something, as educators, if we aren’t using Twitter?

If there is one thing every educator knows, it’s this: Statistics serve their masters. No one ever used statistics to prove themselves wrong. We use statistics to prove our cases.

So, what we have is an untold story.

And there is an educator who has taken the time to answer the question, to tell the story. In fact, it’s not even a question anymore.

“Why Educators Should Be Using Twitter”, by Justin Tarte, is an affirmation.

For the record, my PLN would be decimated, almost inconceivable, if it were not for Twitter. For me, Twitter means connections, and connections means access to current, up-to-date, information.

To be clear: Twitter is a fundamental part of my PLN. To be without it would be similar to losing sight in one eye…

Enjoy the video…


About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
This entry was posted in Education, Education Technology, EFL and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Should Educators Be Using Twitter? #ELTchat #edtech #technology #cpchat #ntchat #education #ukedchat #esl #CCK11 #lrnchat #elearning #esl #Teachers

  1. Debbie says:

    I completely agree about Twitter, although it took a project in one of my courses to convince me that it was more than just fluffy personal updates. Rather, it is whatever you want it to be, and for me, it’s an educational tool rather than a place to let my followers know which latte I ordered that day. I have also come to appreciate what the 140-character limit that I had previously criticized does: it forces me to say things concisely, which means I have to be clear in my own mind on what my point is – a skill the verbose-me has had to develop. In addition, I started following people I considered experts in my field of teaching and one day I was notified that one of them was following ME! To know that an expert across the pond finds value in what I am tweeting has empowered me as a learner and a teacher by showing me that someone out there thinks I have valuable things to say too. When you start seeing that what you’ve said has been retweeted, it is a motivator to keep researching, to keep learning, to keep thinking and creating…What a testament to the value of connectivism’s networked learning!


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