Archive for the “Twitter” Category

You may have seen this go through your Twitter feed recently…

A Twitter Rubric…

And as you might expect, it was retweeted by quite a few people. 

I’m wondering about the need for a Twitter rubric.

To me, this represents an attempt to force fit the use of a dynamic social media tool into a familar, comfortable, and safe structure, the rubric.  Fit, jam, prod and force the tool into something that is articifical and constraining.

Why must a teacher define what represents exemplary use of Twitter for a student?

Exemplary use is using tinyurls to effectively stay within the 140 character limit. 

Seriously?  What if I don’t want to use a URL shortener?  So what if the tweet gets too long.  What about a second tweet?  The last time I checked, tweets were free.

Why do teachers have to own the tool?

If I’m a student, I now have a choice, but the wrong one.  Use the tool as I see fit for my needs, or succumb to the wishes of the teacher who wants me to use it as they have defined it, all in the name of giving the use a grade…

We all know what they’ll do.

But why not give them a real choice?  Maybe they’ll use Twitter, maybe they’ll use Facebook, maybe they’ll use index cards.  Why limit choices?  Why limit how they use a particular tool?  Why be so prescriptive?

I’d rather think that educators would give students a palette to choose from.  You select how you want to represent your ideas, and you describe for me how well they worked, or didn’t work.  Describe for me your growth throughout the learning experience, and the role that the particular tool or tools of your choosing had in that experience. There’s your assessment.

If you haven’t see the work of Dave Cormier, George Siemens, Stephen Downes and Rita Kop in their PLENK2010 course, I highly recommend it.  It’s a refreshing and innovative approach that emphasizes student choice and empowerment in how they choose to learn, and how they choose to represent their understanding.

If connective technologies and networking experiences have taught us anything, they should have taught us about the freedom to connect, engage, and project our ideas, in our own ways.  They should have taught us about how important individual choice can be in learning.

Why don’t we offer the same to our kids?


Posted via email from djakes’ posterous

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It’s been awhile…since my last post about Twitter. I wrote this right after that post out of frustration so I let it sit. I’m posting it now for your “enjoyment.”

So, now I’ll be in more trouble with all the Twitter kool-aid drinkers, but oh well. I had some fun with the script of A Few Good Men. It’s meant as humor, nothing more, nothing less…breathe deep! Here it is:


You want answers?

We think were entitled to them.

You want answers?

We want the truth

You can’t handle the truth!

People, we live in an online world with tools like Twitter. And Twitter has to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, (insert your name here)?

I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom.

You weep for Twitter and you curse @djakes. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that @djakes Twitter post, while tragic, probably saved lives.

And @djakes’ existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives…

You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at Twitter meetups like at NECC, you want @djakes on that wall.

You need @djakes on that wall.

We use words like blogs, wikis, and (but not diigo)…we use these words as the backbone to a life spent creating online communities.

You use ‘em as part of a 140 character punchline.

@djakes neither has the time nor the inclination anymore to explain to people who refuse to actually read the post, then question the manner in which @djakes wrote it! He’d rather you just said thank you and went on your way.

Otherwise, I suggest you grab a mouse and write a post. Either way, I don’t give a @&^%$# what you think you’re entitled to!

Did you write the Twitter Post?

I did the job you sent me to do.


You’re #%*&*&% right I did!!

I suggest the jury be dismissed.The Blogger has rights.

Captain (insert your name here)?The members of Twitter will retire to the antiroom.

What the &$#&$^ is this? I wrote the post, I’d do it again.

I’m going back to my office.

You’re not going anywhere @djakes

MP’s: guard @djakes

I committed a crime? A crime?

But it’s got 106 comments!

This is funny, that’s what this is!


OK, let me have it…

Comments 16 Comments »

When I taught ecology, my students studied the concept of “The Tragedy of the Commons,” which was popularized by an ecologist by the name of Garrett Hardin.

Basically, it’s about the exploitation of a commonly shared resource. When all who share the resource play by the rules and share equally all benefit, while the resource generally remains intact and capable of sustaining future use. However, given human nature, a single member (or more) may eventually consume more of his/her share of the resource, prompting all to be more aggressive and utilize more, in an escalating pattern of consumption. Gradually, through this process the resource, or “The Commons,” is destroyed.

So, I’ve been struggling with this for awhile, but I can see parallels between this concept and what I believe is an exploitation of the new digital commons-I’m talking Twitter here.

At its best, Twitter is a place to share a resource, a link to a new blog post, or an insight, and even a place to have a little fun. It’s a place that could be about learning. At its very worst, Twitter is a self-indulgent exercise in self-promotion and pettiness.

Right now, I think we are watching Twitter change right before our digital eyes. Be the first with the tool (Diigo, for example), be the first with a post, be the first with the wiki, be the first to uStream, stake your claim in a never-ending game of name building and recognition. Take advantage of the commons, go ahead. But where will that eventually lead to?

In my opinion, Twitter really has also changed how some people interact, and not in a positive way. When did the defacto standard greeting at a conference become “Hi, I follow you on Twitter.” How about “Good Morning?” Then, “But you don’t follow me.” Gee, sorry, not my responsibility…


When did getting called out for not following someone become something you did? When did sending an email to someone who doesn’t follow you, and you want to know why, become something you did? How absolutely ridiculous! Get over it. Do you want it that bad-is it really that important? Seriously!

What about connecting to share ideas in the service of learning?

When did it become about becoming noticed, when did it become about taking your rightful place in the line of technology “experts.” When did it become about “cocktail parties” and “inner circles?” And since I’m thinking about it, I’m wondering if the people promoting the idea of ridiculous idea of a cocktail party or inner circle would be the first wanting to join if such a thing actually existed?


What happened?

Take Educon 2.0. It’s Friday and if you were there, you had the opportunity to visit the kids and teachers of the Science Leadership Academy. However, most stayed in the library bantering about Twitter and finally meeting those people in real life that had become some important in their digital one. What a missed opportunity to observe a truly unique school.

So here comes NECC, with the Blogger Café and EdubloggerCon. I can only imagine what a scrum for attention those could potentially turn into. But EdubloggerCon provides the opportunity for those who have blogged and twittered for a year to step up-let’s hear what you have to say face to face. Are you ready for that? Are you ready to earn it-really earn it?

The more I think about all this Twitter nonsense, the more I think about fundamentals. Writing. Commenting. Reading in your aggregator. Putting links into and supporting that network. Reading research. Reading outside of the ecochamber. Reflecting, questioning, getting uncomfortable—and then perhaps challenging the assumptions of your foundation. Personal growth. How can I grow and change as an educator? What can I do better to help kids learn?

And then put it into practice. What worked, what didn’t.

Put that into Twitter.

Twitter has diverted many from what is important, what should be the true goal. And that’s the real tragedy…

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