Sunday, 20 January 2008

Twittering on -the tipping point is reached!

Holidays have been rolling along here and for the first time in nearly twenty years we haven't had a holiday away; but instead of it being dull and boring, I have had a fabulous time! While not posting has been on my mind, I have almost been attached by an invisible cord to my computer and that cord has been Twitter. If you have been living under a rock you may not know about twitter, but for me a tipping point has been reached and long passed as I have gone from being a somewhat sceptical observer to a committed addict.

I use snitter which allows me to continually get updates as I read blogs,fill up my pages with great information and generally zip around the blogosphere.My network has nearly reached a hundred followers and I am convinced for me it is the most powerful app around.The reason I haven't done any posts despite having more 'time' is that I am too busy doing things to stop and reflect on my doings! As I pondered my lack of posts I decided to write about the huge explosion of things that I have suddenly become involved in over the last six week and the power of jumping in to a social network which is so welcoming.As I composed my draft- ie tried to remember the things which had been so earth shifting in my new committment to the power of web 2.0 -I was not at all surprised to see others write on a similar theme. Chris Betch, Murcha and Jo McLeay have all posted recently on how significant Twitter has become in their network and I agree with their thoughts.

I have also worked out how to actually connect to World Bridges presentations and have been participating live in chat rooms and even contributed online in a skype call to one presentation which was a first for me. The effect of this participation is powerful and how to make sure my students have the chance to engage as personally as this not just on Myspace, will be something to work on this year.

Following my meeting with Jo Mcleay I have also signed up to class 2.4 of the webcast academy and even have been given an intern badge!!Hopefully I will be able to get up a 6am for the classes on monday mornings - committment eh?
The time difference problem has not been such a problem while on holiday and I have been much more able to participate in webcasts and chats because i have been home. How I will go once back at work will be a challenge as I have relished the immediacy of the live broadcasts. Hopefully once I have done the training Jo and I and others will be able to do something to help with the problems of time difference.

As part of my new twitterness habit, I have also been using skype more effectively. Previously it was for talking to my daughter when she was on exchange in France for a year and the webcam plus the audio helped me survive the year. In the last few weeks however, I have been involved in conference calls and chats with the real people whose writing I have enjoyed so much. The first way to 'flatten out' this world is by simply talking and when teachers can start these conversations, we are on a good road.
A really concrete example of this has also been the FLNW08 - a virtual un-conference which was an example of how technology could be used across countries to present. We were watching -we being a very large chat room as a result of Kim Corfino and others sending out tweets- the ustream of the meeting in Thailand and also the slideshare presentation was posted, as were the photos in flickr that were being discussed. All this plus a very active and entertaining chat room covering several continents made it a fabulous experience and NZChrissy has blogged about it in detail and included some screen capture as well.
My last but not least or only point is how last Sunday I was playing around with Picasa to explore it for photo editing. I just mentioned it in twitter for fun and then Sue Waters and Chris Betch took over having a long conversation of tweets discussing the pros and cons of picasa and flickr as photo editing tools. This went thick and fast for quite a while with others adding in and finally I said that a blog post might be the best way to preserve their combined knowledge... and so they did!! They used Google docs and from both sides of this continent they wrote a blog post about the suject and then individually posted it- preserving the moment in the blogosphere.What an awesome example of knowledge sharing, and of the immediacy of the tools available to us to share and comment!
So apart from doing lots of bottling of the fruits of summer and having time to enjoy my garden, my holidays have been about Twitter and networks and a path forward - I am hoping to go to NECC in Texas in June. I have definitely dived in and am swimming as fast as I can.My 'tweeties' are are a great bunch and we are all swimming together. They say that the first part of dealing with an addiction is admitting to it. Now what is step two?


Sue Waters said...

What was so great about your discussion of Flickr and Picasa was not only did it result in Chris and I working collaboratively to write a post but Chrissy then followed it up with her own fantastic post - Twitter Flickr Learning. Thanks for inspiring us to take the conversation to the next level.

Sue Waters
Mobile Technology in TAFE

Mr Mont said...

I loved reading your post. Such a descriptive engaging write up of your day's expereince.

I came across this from Kate Foy (another Aussie) today, since you, Sue and Chris were discussing Flickr etc

Anyway, cheers


theother66 (formally MadMiller) said...

I'm really glad someone else has spent their summer holidays like me - playing in Twitter, Facebook,, Pownce etc, and now I'm moving into Google Reader.

I was beginning to think that maybe I was the only person who has found a new way of learning through SN sites.

It’s wonderful how friendly and helpful people are in these SN sites – and the ability to ‘chat & muse’ with individuals the whole world over is so lovely.

I’m still trying to develop a response for my work colleagues, when they ask me “how were your holidays”. I imagine the bulk of them will think I’ve gone absolutely nuts (yep! more nuts than usual) if I was to tell them that I’ve spent many hours – reading blogs and making new friends in Cyber-space.

Allison Miller
Adelaide, Australia

teach said...

G'day Sue - A great Aussie name there!! I too have spent most of my holidays doing what you have done - using the web and finding out how to introduce it to my students when I go back in February. I need to check out yet what the Ed. Dept have in way of rules etc but hope that my students will be able to respond to posts in my blog.

Mr Mont said...


That's a good point. A couple of people have recently asked me that question and look at me askance when I tell them that I have spent all my spare time building my online network. And when I try to explain, they just didn't get it.

I wish that I could say as "teach" does that I have been preparing this stuff for my kids at school.

Well, actually.. No. I've been building an online support base for me so that I could continue to do what I have very little support in my workplace for (and quite a bit of resistance to).

Indirectly it will benefit the kids because it will help me be a better teacher,

"teach"... it sounds like you might be in for a bit of a shock. Ed Dept's are not known as open sharing places. You are likely to strike a lot of resistance. Good luck.

We are here for you. There are many of us out here who regularly encounter stiff resistance to change. You may find building a network out here essential to continuing your work in there.

Damned shame! But it reality for most of us.

Russel Montgomery