Although I signed up for Twitter four years ago, I never really understood its purpose or usefulness. To me Twitter was a board for socialites to talk about what they were doing and share random pictures of themselves or places they have been. I guess that my judgement of Twitter was heavily influenced by what was highlighted in the news ..... "Pics of baby North West revealed!", "Justin Bieber's spotted in Nightclub", "Miley lights up on stage". Is this what Twitter is ALL about?
I decided to check it out anyway just to try to stay in the tech loop a bit! My first proud moment of tweeting went like this "Totally frustrated with Bell's internet service!" Proud that my message was out there and will start a chain reaction of followers in agreement and Bell getting their act together to provide a higher quality of service! Minutes turned to hours which turned to days, weeks, months and years but not one blue bird's poop happened! This is rubbish, Twitter isn't useful unless you're a celebrity or a celeb-wann-a-be, I thought!
As we evolve, so too does our network. People, Places, Interest, Hobbies and Knowledge can now more than ever before be shared with others and discussed on forums of many social networking platforms.
My negative perception changed when taking Brock University's ADED1P32 course - Learning in digital contexts. Session 5 requires setting up a Twitter account and interacting with it from an educational or learning context. This was an eye opener for me... I now understood the meaning of all those @'s and #'s symbols that I frequently saw on post, comments and discussions. In my time those symbols were used to filling the missing letters of profane words! Hence prior to that session, I didn't give a S#@t about those symbols!
Had I known about the reasons and purpose of hash tags and at symbols on twitter my first post on Twitter expressing my frustration on Bell's internet service might have actually gone somewhere. My resurrected Tweet might have been @Bell Canada I'm totally frustrated with your internet service #Bellcanada #Frustrated #poorinternetservice. With only 107 characters, my distress signal might have reached an audience with similar experiences and perhaps even heard by service providers customer service department; Geeze, I could have started a revolution ... OK, back to reality, maybe not a revolution... a movement perhaps?
I have begun to re-enter the Twitterverse with renewed enthusiasm and with high expectations. I have included a mini bio about me and added a list on my account with a few peers and our facilitator. I have cleaned up my account by Un-following Kanye and Kim choosing instead to nourish my mind with insightful post from my peers, the university I attend, educational bodies and news agencies and a few other reputable people in my field. In growing my PLN, Twitter will no doubt be an invaluable tool in directing content my way and allow to participate in hundreds of discussions that I would not normally be privy to.
This course has been quite an exacting and insightful journey for me thus far. It has given me useful tools to reintegrate into the digital world. I am quite excited to share my knowledge wit my friends and family and I believe that this new found knowledge, once practiced, will allow me to communicate with my children who are no doubt Digital Natives. I hope to pass on to them the importance of a PLN, potential for social media to have a positive influence on their educational endeavours and the importance to of online responsibility and security!
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
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