I don't tweet, but I do listen to National Public Radio. They mention tweeting all the time. Shortly after this project was mentioned in class, I saw an article in Time Magazine about Twitter being a linguist's gold mine. We were reading Gee at the time, and I saved the article. NPR ran a story about twitter and literacy and a theme was born. I found the NPR transcript online, researched a few articles and videos, and included them in a Google Doc to my project partners. I don't embrace Twitter, but I figured it was worth learning about. They agreed.
My friends have no time to be "Twitterati" so my line of questioning follows: "Why do it? Why Tweet?" Personally, I see it as just another time sucker. I was curious to find out if anybody had tried Twitter in their classroom and get to them to think about what they might do with it. I also thought it would be important to try to post something on Twitter among peers who are considering the same topic. This would give some experience in that mode of communication.
Our group decided we really liked having the responses available on a single document like the Open Mic #2 group. It was really nice to be able to scroll down the responses see everyone’s contribution.
When reading and watching the original documents, I was surprised to learn that tweeters are better readers...and writers. It is difficult to take a complex response, condense it to 140 characters and keep it meaningful. I did not grade the responses, because I did the research and pre-reading of the articles. I chose to read the responses. It was exciting to read the reflections, especially the tweets. I am always awed by the insight of my classmates. We come from very different teaching backgrounds. I feel like I learn so much from them.
I did respond informally to one classmate through email. I would likely have been less concise and asked more questions face to face than I did in the email I sent. I chose to respond to Gail because her thoughts about Twitter are similar to mine, and it made me laugh. I also sent a general tweet out to #twitteracy thanking the class for participating. I wanted to make sure I really knew what I was doing!