My time with Twitter

If someone ever goes to my Twitter page (@brayden_ursaki) and checks my date of sign-up, they might consider me to be a veteran. I apparently made my account in 2011, which means I was just out of high school and must have been experimenting with it. I don’t remember much of it from back then, to be honest, and I don’t think I ever posted anything. I’m grateful for that, because years later, I attended a PD session facilitated by my school division and it was an early version, of sorts, of this course. We were exploring some basic possibilities with social media in education, and at one point, we were asked to create a Twitter account, if comfortable, and make a related post. A colleague searched for my account and found it before I remembered I already had one, and I am so glad there was nothing there for him to see (my Facebook was cleaned up before I started adding profession-related friends, unlike the Twitter account).

Jumping into Twitter has its pros and cons. First, it is infinitely engaging, constantly finding new conversations to explore, and I like that it is primarily discussion-based, rather than content posting. I’ve made some basic posts and re-tweets, and I like that I can use both “likes” and “bookmarks” to keep track of things I want to preserve, based on whether I want others to see as well or not. In addition, it seems to be the social media site with the largest teacher presence. The quality and quantity of resources, strategies, and overall learning I’ve been able to find has greatly expanded my perspectives on education.

However, I do notice problems with the site. First, the algorithm. I’m learning that if I so much as have liked a post or comment from a category not related to education, my “for you” tab will reflect that potential interest. This is all well and good if it’s something generally benign, such as sports. However, there is such a seedy, negative, and downright combative side of Twitter commentary that I’ve found to be mentally draining at times. I’ve learned that if I want my feed to be primarily education-focused, I need to make sure my follows and likes stick to people in those topics. I’ve found desktop-based sites such as Tweetdeck massively help with streamlining my feed, but when using the Twitter app (which is the majority of the time), it just shows everything it can.

Overall, I’m happy there is a large community of educators on Twitter. It’s definitely been the tool I’ve used most often, and I’ve found that I hear about new educational trends or ideas before many other staff members in my school. When these same ideas pop up in our school conversations and meetings a few weeks or months down the road, I almost feel like a prophet (sooort of…).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *