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What I learned from Twitter today

I don’t follow Twitter all that closely anymore most days. I pop in when I have time, I ignore it when I don’t. However, it’s amazing just how much info passes through my TwitterStream on a daily basis.

Just how much info? Let’s see. Here’s what I have learned, solely through Twitter, in the past 12 hours.

  • Barbara Ganely is having her students respond to ‘essays without words’.
  • Steve Ruble uses his camerphone as a todo list by taking photos of things that he has run out of. The picture serves as a visual reminder of something he needs to buy.
  • Lisa Parisi has created a wiki for introducing people to the wide world of Web 2.0.
  • Kristin Hokanson shared a presentation on using Google’s presentation tool. A ton of fellow Twits attended it virtually.
  • Julie Lindsay was looking for ideas of what the Classroom of the Future should look like. Claudia Ceraso resonded, as did TechnoLibrary.
  • Chris Craft discovered a new blogging tool call Airpress.
  • Jeff Utecht has been playing with some new blog themes for WordPress.
  • Brian Smith is doing some Geocaching today despite the lack of perfect weather.
  • David Jakes is at the Regional Office of Education working on Illinois’ state technology plan. Mark Wagner suggested putting it on a wiki and shared the link to the Palm Springs Tech Plan wiki that he worked on last week.
  • Mstina will be doing a presentation for students on Facebook next month. They want to know the dangers.
  • David Warlick is meeting with the Director of North Carolina’s Education Technology conference and introducing him to Twitter.
  • John Pederson is checking out’s 2.0 preview release.
  • Tonia Johnson has a second laptop go missing at her school and is trying to figure out how to deal with it.
  • Bud the Teacher participated in a discussion about how they can use Skype in the classroom.
  • Mr Belshaw shared a blog post detailing three ways for using Twitter with students.
  • Carolyn Foote asked for people to share “One trait of a good staff development workshop”, and Stephanie Sandifer and Chris Lehman responded.
  • Susan Sedro got Twitter unblocked at school.
  • Digimom is frustrated after learning that a colleague of hers has never taken her laptop out of its case yet this year.
  • Darren Draper learned that his school is moving from PowerSchool to Skyward and was wondering if anyone had any experience with it. Robin Ellis is moving TO PowerSchool right now. Carolyn Foote uses Skyward.
  • Steve Hargadon lets people know that CUE is going 2.0 all the way. Social networking, Blogger’s Cafe, Edubloggercon and more.
  • Chris Lehmann wants to know how people would respond to a parent that wants to put monitoring software on a student’s laptop. He gets a slew of responses.
  • Amy Lundstrom is discussing “What do we think it means to prepare students for the 21st Century?”
  • Mike Bryant has learned about GeoRSS feeds which will allow geotagged photos to appear in Google Earth dynamically.
  • John Blake is trying to get a Nintendo Wii to use for teaching character education and is looking for examples of others using the Wii in school settings.
  • I requested people contact me if they use blogs and wikis in their classroom so I could ask them about their school policies. I got about 6 responses.
  • Sylvia Martinez shares a fundraiser that pays you for collecting old technology.
  • Amy Bellinger’s 78 year old father created a Facebook account so he can keep up with the grandkids.
  • Dale Basler wonders whether there’s any value to teaching students how to convert MPH to KMH, vs just letting them use Google to do it.
  • My wife is nervous about starting her job on Monday and putting Aiden back in daycare.

These Tweets took place between 5:00AM and 5:00PM CST. This is a very short recap of them. In reality, there were around 460 tweets during that time, solely from educators. Some of them were rather inane, and others quite thought provoking.

12 hours.

This wasn’t a staff development day. It wasn’t a workshop. It wasn’t a conference or even a meeting. This was simply Thursday. A day in the life of an educator who happens to be connected to a virtual teachers lounge (credit to ArtGuy for the analogy). This is nothing more than daily conversation. And yet it’s also miraculous in so many ways.

Darren asked me what I learned from all this. Quite simply: There is nothing more important to teach educators about technology, than how to network.

  • This morning I was wondering whether other blogger communities make a similar use of Twitter as the edublogosphere does. If I need to connect my students with experts in other subjects, should I start by their blogs and hope they have a blogroll to guide me into their conversations? It might be more effective to digg in their Twitter networks.
    Powerful little thing, this Twitter.

    Claudia Ceraso


  • I am finding more and more that Twitter is becoming my “problem solving forum” (as well as a great collaborative learning tool).

    If I encounter an issue in my work that has me (and my “in person” colleagues) stumped, then I can send out a quick tweet and within minutes receive very helpful responses from some incredibly brilliant people. You gave a few examples of this kind of instant problem-solving/idea gathering in your list above.

    It’s easy to say that Twitter is addictive — and some people call it trivial. I think our network is finding Twitter to be a valuable learning/sharing tool that complements our blogs, wikis, and other Web 2.0 tools.

    Stephanie Sandifer


  • Reading and commenting on @teach42 's post on Twitter.

    Claudia Ceraso


  • Reading and commenting on @teach42 ‘s post on Twitter.

    Claudia Ceraso


  • What a great illustration of the power of this tool.

    And one thing I think that is powerful about it is that it makes it easier to build a network, by leaping off of others’ networks. For teachers who are wanting to make some connections but not sure how to access other like-minded professionals, that ability is a great aspect of the tool.

    Your last point is brilliant. Wondering if that is true for our students as well.

    Carolyn Foote


  • [...] post on Twitter that illustrates it far better than I could, so I’m pointing to his post here. (although I’m adding to [...]

  • [...] Want to see what other educators get from Twitter? Visit Discovery Education Network Leader Steve Dembo’s post, or read fellow school librarian Carolyn Foote’s post to see hopw they use it [...]

  • I am relatively new to twitter and it took me a while to really buy into its power. I used to joke with my wife and call it the stalker network. I am still prone to think that most of the comments that go through my network are banal but that just tells me that I need to expand my network a bit. I too find myself posting silly things but I realze that not everything needs to be academic. I am slowly becoming addicted to twitter and my network is growing. I am bradmdav on Twitter- follow me :)

    Carolyn Foote


  • Steve–just wanted to say Twitter has moved to the top of my list of favorite tools for social networking too. I don’t have a lot of time in the workday to read blogs, much less twitter (though half of the blogs are blocked in my school district—they block WAY too much, but that’s a whole other issue and blog post!) But when I eat lunch at my desk, i can pull up twitter and review the morning, and even make a comment or too. it was really nice the other week to find out I wasn’t the only school library media specialist being used to administer MAP Testing…a capital waste of my time–though I understand its importance and purpose in schools–I hate agreeing and disagreeing with the same issue! But during my time of Map Testing, I was able to twitter to my heart’s delight and follow most of my blogs–bloglines was not blocked! I could go to them and ask for some stuff to be unblocked, but my fear is that i will cause someone (the big blocker at the d.o.?) to start watching my computing habits, and shut down access to Twitter and Bloglines. I might have to quit work!—or they might fire me, egads! I hope not. I’ll be quiet just in case. Anyway, thanks for the great post.

    Cathy Nelson


  • Well, looks like we have the similar people on our contacts. I find that twitter allows me to drop in and see what people are up to and keep in contact. During the past few weeks I haven’t had time to “converse” much but it has been great to see what everyone is doing. I find that during school hours I don’t have the time to engage in the conversation like I use to but it doesn’t keep me away from going through the conversations that took place during the day. The bouncing of ideas and thoughts from others does impact my own thoughts and ideas. Hope your year’s going well!

  • Interesting being here in Singapore– so many of the Twitter folk I follow are in North American so I miss most of their discussion. As I slowly expand my Twitterverse to include more people in Asia, Australia and New Zealand, I’m seeing more of the power. Fortunately for me, teachers don’t seem to sleep much, so I catch the edges of the North American Tweets.

    Susan Sedro


  • Just a small correction – I actually asked about that recycling fundraiser site because the promises sounded too good to be true. There were a couple of responses from people pretty much confirming that. So it’s not an endorsement from me :-)

    But it was a great example of being able to quickly tap into a network for all kinds of random information that just can’t be found with Google!

    sylvia martinez


  • Us substitute teachers learn quite a bit from fellow educators as well!! And I have gathered plenty of resources for when it comes time to become a certified teacher taking on her classroom!

  • Great post, “Learning from Twitter”:

    Bryan Alexander


  • [...] examples of the Network in action. Web Cubed – Great idea Nancy What I Learned from Twitter Today – Steve Dembo A Wonderful Thing about Twitter – Technospud Connected exploring through WiZiQ – Ryan [...]

  • Steve,

    I like what you tweeted to me later on that day:

    “Twitter seems to be more of an unconference than anything else.”

    I’m with you on this. I’ve honestly learned more from my Twitter network than I have from attending any particular conference. I love Twitter it’s about connections, conversations – and adds a truly personal, human element that is rarely evident in traditional blogs.

    Darren Draper


  • esp 4 edutwitters – teach42′s “What I learned from Twitter” today:



  • I’m a bit behind in my blog reading so have just gotten to this blog. It comes at a great time. I will show it to my Web 2.0 class this week as a prime example of how powerful this tool is. Just today, I wanted to test out UStream with World Bridges. I sent out a twit and got about 12 people to come “play” with me. What fun we had and what learning went on. All thanks to Twitter and the great people in my network.

    Lisa Parisi


  • [...] Great blog post on what you can learn in the “twitter stream.” Bookmark to:          [...]

  • Steve, I used to listen to your podcast ages ago, and stumbled upon your blog after seeing the Twitter post linked from Twitter itself.
    I like Twitter because even though it (and all other blogs and web 2.0 sites) are filtered by my school district, I still have access to SMS and mobile internet via my cell.
    I’d love to build a set of real world examples of using some of these sites “safely” in an education setting. Between Google’s products (Docs, Blogger, Reader, etc) and Twitter, I could replace most software applications installed on my laptop!

    Rob Rowe


  • I understand why the Twitter’s blog linked to this post: it is a great Tarantino style shooting of a day through the lens of Twitter. Great post!



  • [...] reports. The news doesn’t have to be worthy of filing with Associated Press, either. One can learn a lot just by following the daily thoughts of friends. For bloggers and journalists alike, the tweet [...]

  • [...] Dembo’s Teach42 blog has an interesting post titled “What I learned from Twitter Today” which gives yet another interesting perspective on the use of Twitter in education. [...]

  • 可以和你们做朋友吗?可以的话请发信息给我

    And you can be friends with you? Can, then please send me information



  • I join you here? Not, the reason is that I will not English, I am a Chinese



  • [twitter] What I learned from Twitter today – Teach42



  • Just found an interesting site geared to teaching and "What I learned from Twitter today":; ok- back to the books

    Michael Gordon


  • #edm531

    Another great twitter site



  • What I learned from Twitter today – Teach42
    <- elearning links



  • [...] Teach42 · What I learned from Twitter today [...]

  • Judith Dijkstra


  • [...] individually.  Micro-blogging and Social bookmarking remove limitations and gives us one a way to add, share, voice and explain our thoughts. Flickr,, for example provide a place to store, tag, annotate and share Web pages and [...]

  • [...] virtual learning communities and value the relationships I have cultivated there. For example, as Steve Dembo demonstrates within the twitter community there is a great deal for educators to learn from each other. Often, [...]

  • Currently reading – What I learned from Twitter today – by @teach42

    Jesse Damiano


  • Twitter is really an amazing platform, i have been looking into it and maybe we will start using it for marketing next year.



  • An amazing article.

    Tütüne Son


  • my biggest problem with Twitter is keeping up to date with the stream of information that comes through. Have you found a way to keep up with Twitter updates? I find that unless I’m on the site, I have no way of knowing what was said that may ave been important 12 hours ago.