Hi Jen W,
If there was no Twitter, or Twitter faded away I wouldn't have read your post. But once again like so many times over the last few months, I turned on my computer and noticed a tweet:
"Darren Kuropatwa @JLWagner You started a good conversation. Lots of good thinking coming out of it. Congrats & keep it up! ;-)"
With that simple <140 style="font-weight: bold;">
Please Remember the Uninformed
I've read through the comments, and I'd like to add one important perspective that I don't find mentioned directly although it is alluded to a few times. I represent the uninformed. Until July 2007, I was familiar with Microsoft Office and knew little about the impact new applications were having on professional learning and k12 learning. I have told this story before, but I really was professionally transformed at the Building Learning Communities 2007 conference. Wow! I could see the features of a parallel universe but know little about it textures, shapes, and smells. I knew I wanted to learn more.
Twitter at First
Darren had mentioned Twitter in his workshop, but I didn't know that it could help me connect with new ideas and like minded people. Sheryl Nussbaum Beach and I had a Skype conversation and with the insights I gained, I was off learning and doing. I have learned about many new tools, blogs, people, places, schools, classrooms, ideas, through Twitter in less than three months. It took me to the K12 Online Conference and to an expanded Twitter network of people who seem to care passionately about children, learning, leadership, pedagogy and the proper place of technology in that universe. I believe without Twitter I would have remained uninformed for years maybe even never pursued the topic because I would have lacked the guidance, good will and humor of my Twitter network.
Now about friends. I do have f2f friends that care deeply about k12 leadership and learning, but few understand the power of technology. The people I have met on Twitter have similar interests to me and they understand the potential power of technology for teaching and learning. Perhaps some will violate rules of etiquette. I am very concerned about offending people in this network because I can't continue learning without you. Here is how I blogged about newcomers needing online friends who are willing to reach out and offer friendship.
October 21st Post
"I need more friends and so do others looking to learn what we can from you so we can generate new knowledge as we interact. Follow me on twitter if you want to help me so I can follow you and watch you think about this world and reflect and contribute to the community conversation ~ that's the only way we can continue learning. All I can promise is to be your friend, do my part in this movement, and continue learning, modeling and trying to help students, educators and others with a stake in or authority over education in Massachusetts, the USA, and the world. www.twitter.com: dennisar" (See October 21, 2007 post below.)
Learning and Leading
Since July 2007 as a superintendent in Massachusetts and president of the Massachusetts affiliate of ASCD, I have been working diligently to learn about web 2.0 pedagogies. I have shared them with parents, students, teachers, teacher leaders, assistant superintendents, superintendents, my Board of Directors, and state political and appointed leaders for the Board of Education, the Governor's office and the Board of Higher Education. Twitter is one powerful tool I and others like me can use it to gain new knowledge. Without it or if people who are currently using it turn away for whatever reason, out power to transform education in every school in the world will be diminished. Without it I would not be presenting at EduCon 2.0 in January.
I hope this perspective has added value to the conversation about the importance of Twitter.
Maybe, someday, your friend,