The microblogging platform is 13 years old now and has around 335 million users around the world.
Since its launch in 2006, a total of 1.3 billion accounts have been created. The globe has impressions of the bluebird on every inch and that’s an expanding reach. We need to believe in the role, twitter can play in empowering learning.
Heads and ministers, celebrities or would-be celebrities, newspapers or rumour-mongers, all are present on Twitter. There is a common feel now that media has started getting its beats in those 140 characters and there is less of news hunting now. This might be discouraging to the old school of journalism, like me, but the bright side is that we get things in objectivity. The obligation of converting that or expanding into an informative narrative is with me.
The same is the case with educators around the world. It is observed that the teachers are one among the largest groups on twitter. There are millions who speak their minds in fluently posted tweets. There are lot many who wait for those tweets and tweet-chats to start because the participation is rewarding. Education-related chats have been trending each day. Of course, the political or propagandist promotions do get a lead at the end of the day. But the rewarding positivity is that each day the educators and learners curate an immense amount of learning on Twitter.
Teachers in India, are either not there on Twitter because they are not digitally literate enough to sense the tune of the day. Social Media concludes for them with Facebook and Instagram. Besides that, the taboo of being unethical and bad is also labelled on social media. It is interesting that this taboo stops them from learning more, but does not stop them from spearheading 'Forward -Share-Like' campaigns.
Educators have political alignments and that’s a thing to be refuted and refused separately. Many of them are on Twitter, not as teachers but re-tweeters.
Here are some observations for the educators, teachers, policymakers and even parents, about utilizing Twitter, not just using it like any other social media website:
1. Remember that you are joining twitter after reading its definition and scope. (Basically, Twitter is a micro-blogging aka thoughts/ideas/info posting wall with the limit on the number of words you can type.)
2. Twitter encourages Objectivity and that helps in better connectivity as people comprehend focused information easily.
3. There is nothing wrong with joining Twitter. Like Facebook, it is not personal information sharing place. People share their thoughts or re-share what they feel of interest to themselves or people connected with them.
4. It is a better place to rant your dissatisfaction as it may not be seen by many. But things posted on Facebook or even Instagram are taken too serious about the state of your mind and heart.
5. The public offices and officers, private service providers and even individuals are most responsive here. You e-mails or calls to Customer Care/Help Centre may fail in getting a response, but a single complaint as a tweet with some effective hashtag forces them to get back. When needed, this should be used.
6. You can connect with millions of fellow educators/learners/like-minded people just by following the respective hashtags. It’s easy to find those who can be guiding lights. Networking on Twitter is far-far real than old-stereotype Facebook. It is also suggested that Facebook is a socio-personal platform. Twitter is a blogging platform.
7. Because of the 140 characters limit, we learn to write precisely and concisely. What else the world needs to learn today!? Brevity is the panacea!
8. The teacher should follow as many teachers as possible. The more you follow, the more you get followed. Ensure that your twitter timeline has sensible-education related thoughts so that the visitors can reaffirm their willingness.
9. Tweetdeck is a wonderful tool provided by Twitter itself. Use it to schedule your tweets or keep an eye on what’s happening. You can keep a note of hashtags you want to follow or profiles as well. There are more tools or software for this. You can choose according to the need of usage and activity.
10. Keep a check on your followers. Not in numbers, but on profiles. If you see that a profile seems fake or suspicious, block them.
11. Follow-Follow-Follow the twitter handles of individuals who share the same learning and domain with you. Chances are that they will surely follow back. It is less about numbers and more about your own PLN.
12. Make Sense while you comment or retweet a followed celebrity or ideal. The celebrity might see the impressive and mature response and will endorse your tweet. That adds confidence.
P.S.: Twitter is about being tweeting. If you are active and have that sense of writing meaningful words, subtle and relevant micro-blogs, you shall surely be rewarded with a wide reach. It may take time, but it is sheer learning all the while.
You cannot edit a tweet. Either you delete it or you delete and post again.
Words once said, cannot be edited, but taken back and Amended!
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