At least on Twitter (unlike Facebook) they call them “followers” rather than “friends”. Lady Gaga is up to 24 million of them.
I am up to thirty-seven. Hint, hint.
Twitter mystified me when it first came out. Celebrities tweeted what they bought at the organic grocery store, or when they saw a cool t-shirt, or how they didn’t like the salespeople in H & M. Or how they thought it was time to change toothpastes. It was like the butterfly effect for the cyberworld: no matter how trivial, a flutter somewhere could cause an earthquake somewhere else. I didn’t see a future in it for me, however.
Nevertheless, as a curious soul, and having a conscience about keeping current, I have dipped my toe in.
How have I managed? I now tweet usually two or three times a day, and follow a number of people who comment on education – especially twenty-first century education – world affairs, BC Ferries (can you tell I live on Vancouver Island, around which floats the most extensive ferry system in the world?) and a few odds and ends. Keeping up to date on Twitter was a bit of a pain, since almost all the tweeters I follow include links in their tweets, which don’t open elegantly on a smartphone. However, with my new iPad, I have a great app called Flipboard, which actually opens up your Twitter links for you in readable form.
What I can say, of genuine benefit, is the discussion that is happening about “twenty-first century education” on Twitter and elsewhere. Technology is finally having a useful impact on education, and it is showing in the hardware we use, whether it is smartphones, tablets or laptops. If you follow some of the education links on my list, you will find an organic and dialectical discussion growing like a forest around the various themes of collaboration, leadership, assessment, global awareness and technology that are changing schools today.
So I am sticking with it, for now.