I am just back from a huge technology conference in Philadelphia, the International Society for Technology in Education(ISTE), and I blogged from the event uploading nine or ten entries on a separate MediaTechParenting page. I also tweeted — sometimes using Twitter myself and at other times just watching, reading, and processing the tweets of others.
During the week — before, during, and after the conference — Twitter was my most important communication too. Over the four days it let me know where especially great workshops and presentations were occurring, helped me discover other people who shared my interest, kept me up-to-date about who was blogging, informed me about presenters who were sharing resources beyond their presentation rooms, and yes, even announced the location of the special snacks each afternoon. Without the #ISTE11 Twitter handle, and also the continuing backchannel tweets on #edtech and #edchat, my week would have been slower, less interesting, and nowhere near as dynamic.
I mention all of this because quite a few people seem to grimace a bit when I talk about Twitter –all of the people who never use it or individuals who have taken no time at all to figure out exactly what Twitter can do.
Then this evening a colleague wrote a great blog post on this very subject, describing how baffled she is when people pass judgment on Twitter without having tried it or at least learned a bit about how other people use it.
I’ll end with an elegantly written quote from her post, though you should read the entire piece. She writes:
When I’m looking to learn something, I go to twitter. When I’m looking to share something, I go to twitter. When I want to know the latest news, I go to twitter. When I want other people’s opinion, I go to twitter. When I want to be forced to think, I go to twitter. When I need help, I go to twitter. Yes, I learn in many other ways too, but most of those ways aren’t available to me on demand.
One thought on “Learning More About What You Don’t Know”
It’s no secret as to how much Twitter means to me professionally, for exactly the same reasons you mentioned above. I’ve blogged about it over at The Flying Trapeze and Voices From the Learning Revolution . It puts me in contact with smart people and, as I discovered at the conference, helped me locate valuable sessions. I learned more by following the backchannel do discover what others were thinking. It helped challenge and push my thinking. Now that I’m home from the ISTE conference, it took a day or two before I could really let go of my iPhone. It had become a part of me, becoming almost a fixture in right hand.