This blog post, required for the course in Instructional Technology, is the deeply-considered product of three full hours on Twitter, in which time I've set up an account, sent a tweet to my daughter, signed up to follow a dozen or so individuals or organizations, read a bunch of web sites on the educational uses of Twitter and tried to come up with a lesson plan employing Twitter. These thoughts therefore give promise of being as reckless as a teenager's driving. Come to think of it, if I could find a teenager whom I could volunteer to drive someplace while he writes this post for me, the teenager, you and I would probably all be better off.
So I've given fair warning to anyone who chooses to read this post, other, of course, than the instructor, who has given himself no choice in the matter.
What I think I've learned in these few hours is that primarily Twitter is going to be not its own information source but a series of multiple doors opening to the information sources themselves. It seems like a lot of its use is for posting of links to articles, videos, events, etc., especially since I'm just not of the generation that posts to Facebook every time it gets out of the bathtub.
I had a hard time with the resources on educational uses of Twitter in both the textbook and online. Most of the suggestions were pretty general, and aside from physical things like the weather or location data, didn't seem very helpful. Asking students to post resources for the use of others in a class could be helpful but not central to typical instruction. And most of the information that I saw on the web regarding instructional use was not about instruction itself but about things that surround instruction: resources, answering questions, providing course information, etc.
I did manage to come up with a use of Twitter that I actually felt could enhance a unit I'd previously written, and saw a couple of examples that were quite clever, but I wonder if Twitter will have staying power as a classroom tool in the way that a lot of other technologies seem likely to do. But maybe a few more hours will lead me to a different conclusion, so I'll keep my mind open on this one. Anyhow, I'm glad to have been forced finally to learn how to Tweet.