Twitter for Development

Hearing about Twitter for the first time less than six years ago, I thought, ”How dumb.  140-characters to text something pithy like-Had a latte at Starbucks-How pretentious and who cares?”  But now I’m a Twitter lurker.  It is one of my go-to-tools for professional development. I use Twitter to follow leaders in Instructional Technology/Support and Blended Librarianship, for general academic news, and for the occasional inspirational quote. It provides a snapshot for ideas and topics that the academic community is actively discussing. It is yet another way to keep current.

By shortening urls and adding images, you can circumvent the character restrictions.  A teaser message is tweeted and you can choose to investigate further by following the link and #hashtags.  This teaser message is effective for me.  Being able to quickly switch focus at a moment’s notice coupled with my short attention span make Twitter an ideal tool. My mother-in-law describes this phenomenon as behaving like ‘a fart in a lantern.’ I believe she may mean ‘a firefly in a lantern.’  Regardless often I feel as though I am caught in the lantern.  I find myself flitting around and losing myself in the ripples of information, culling it, repackaging, and sending to hopefully interested parties.

Twitter is like a treasure hunt for information. Finding the right guides to follow is key to finding treasures quickly. I have chosen to follow people who are prominent and prolific tweeters and then add the people they follow.

I don’t use a twitter manager like TweetDeck or HootSuite. I don’t use my phone to text my twitters. I go directly to on a computer.

There some exciting uses of Twitter in your classrooms like running commentaries for in class movies, field trip tweets, real time reactions, etc.  Look at to collect feeds into a cohesive group.

Try Twitter!

25 Ways To Use Twitter In The Classroom, By Degree Of Difficulty
Edudemic (28 March 2012)by Jeff Dunn
20 Terrific Twitter Tips
Laptop (28 January 2011)by Anna Attkisson
Twitter Theory and the Public Scholar |
Scholarship | HYBRID PEDAGOGY (22 March 2012) by Pete Rorabaugh
6 Reasons Twitter is Becoming My New E-mail – Forbes
By Steve Cooper (10 April 2012)

My not-so earth shattering  lurker Twitter account is @mo_boland