Twitter

“Thing 8″ for the MSc module Theory and evaluation of eLearning:

Good Twittering and the #pipe

Any constant stream, or in the case of Twitter a torrent, of information pouring in from around the globe is of such a volume that it would be impossible for anyone to read it at the rate it is generated. As such it is only of any real use if it is filtered in some way. There are three main possibilities for doing this…

  1. Using the search function to type in key words: This link gives the live feed for one of my favourite “work” related searches: Learning Technology. I’ve used this approach to find people with similar broad interests that, should they consistently post material with a good “signal to noise ratio”, I will follow. It’s also a good way to follow developments in a particular field.
  2. Using a hash-tag search: This method can provide a more specific search, especially if there is an agreed hash-tag for a specific purpose. My most productive use of this feature has been to follow conferences that I’m unable to attend in person such as #MWC11 for the Mobile World Congress 2011, or #ndigital for the NIACE digital learning seminar.
  3. Building up a good set of friends: By carefully choosing the people you follow on Twitter it is possible to share information, insight and knowledge as a small “community” with specific interests. By using the “Lists” feature these friends can be grouped to provide information about specific topics.

Having found information, either through Twitter, an RSS reader, or simply browsing the web, Tweeting (known as re-Tweeting for information from Twitter) this information, or a brief description of it with a web-link, serves two purposes …

  1. It makes the information available to those that follow you.
  2. It stores / bookmarks that information for future reference.

I’ll admit it’s a crude method of bookmarking, but with thoughtful tagging it works in the short term, and that is really all that’s needed in Twitter as it is a cyclically refined and very current source of excellent information. As it comes from every walk of life, however, for any individual there will be more noise than signal if you don’t approach it with a purpose and a strategy for achieving that purpose. Try this serach in the context of a Media and eLearning MSc: #pipe!

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About mark8n

Facilitator of Learning Technology adoption and integration. Dad, Granddad and Motorcyclist.
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