A bit about me...

I am a Professor of Professional Studies at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I am responsible for the design and development of the technology instruction taken by juniors and seniors in the College of Education. I have been teaching for over 40 years. In 1972 I became Dean of the College of Professional and Community Service at the University of Massachusetts/Boston and served in that capacity until 1979 when I was named Vice President of the Council for the Advancement of Experiential Learning. I came to "South" in 1988 to develop a program in multimedia.
Last Edited on April 22, 2009


Well, I am now convinced. I am a Twitter fan. First, I must admit that I was VERY skeptical about Twitter and never would have embarked on this learning journey without the push given by Mr. William Chamberlain (@wmchamberlain) and Ms. Angela Rand @USABaldwin. If you read my class blog or all of this Professional Blog you will read much more about them both. Thanks!

Why is Twitter useful to me?
1. It furthers several of my teaching objectives. I want to Collaborate, or as I tell my students I want them to change ClassROOMS to ClassSPACE, that is to make the world our classrooms. Twitter is especially effective in locating other teachers who are doing just that. We make connections and learn how to collaborate from them. I want students to be reflective students and reflective practitioners. Twitter led me to Mr. C who video tapes his fifth graders reflecting on their learning! What a wonderful example this is of reflecting on learning.
2. Twitter is full of tweets recommending articles, podcasts and especially web sites that are useful to me and to my students. I would never have encountered most of them without Twittering.
3. Twitter forces us to write in small chunks. My students rarely write, and when they do they never outline. If I make them write like Twitter does they will be closer to an outline than they ever have been before.
4. Twitter allows us to make use of other media: pictures, sounds (via links) and even movies (via links). I want my students to participate n the creation of listening/watching media since they are not of the reading/writing culture but only listen or watch. I want them to be contributors to that listening/watching culture, not just consumers. Twitter overs an avenue to facilitate that.
5. And you can use Twitter to get a laugh, sometimes at my own expense. And I believe having fun enhances learning!

Is Twitter useful for my students? I think so, for many of the same reasons I have cited above. But they must post their answers to this question as the last formal post to their personal blogs for my class. Then we will know what they think.

All of this happened because I constantly say: "I don't know. Let's find out." Twitter has become a 4 week class effort at finding out. It is exciting to be learning along with my students. And since only 2 out of 67 had known about Twitter before April1, they think I am "way out there" as far as technology goes!

If you would like a mini case study of a recent Twitter event of great importance to me, read my post on my class blog entitled Some Personal Reflections on Collaboration and Twitter

Still not convinced? You must read Mr. William Chamberlain's post #Comments4Kids Wednesdays on his blog At The Teachers Desk. It traces the origin and use of Twitter to generate readers for and commentators upon kids blogs throughout the world. My recommendation: join Twitter, search for #Wednesdays4Kids, and comment on kids blogs. You will learn a lot and so will the kids!