TechCrunch provided an article quoting Biz Stone at Chirp indicating that there were 105M users on Twitter. It’s an interesting article digging into the sheer numbers. That’s a great deal of bandwidth and potential for communication.
What that doesn’t really tell us is the truth behind the numbers. How many of these accounts are actually active and contributing to the conversation. Fortunately, in that respect, the Twitter community handles that for us in a way. Just click on any link for #FollowFriday or #FF and you’ll get a sense of the number of recommendations for others to follow. You should get a list of people currently contributing to the conversation. That’s one way to separate the active users from the inactive based upon the voices of the experienced.
In the great scheme of things, what does this give you? Unfortunately, it’s a very small subset of people that I think really should be on this free service.
At the RCAC meeting this week, we had a discussion of the many ways that have been attempted in the Province of Ontario to try and bring educators together. There have been considerable attempts and much money invested in these services. We talked about the “Electronic Village” and “ENOREO” and the “ELO eCommunity”. By themselves, they reflect the technology that’s available at the time. Unfortunately, despite all of the efforts of those promoting this, they command in actuality only a small number of people. For those that make the effort, these initiatives can be very rewarding. For those that don’t get involved, they just miss the boat. Link many initiatives in education, if you can just stay the course, this too shall pass.
Educational initiatives make it difficult to get involved. Trying to stay even with a district’s take on the initiative takes time and effort. Educational initiatives make it crucial to get involved. Unless you’re having the discussion, you’re really on the outside and underinformed.
Despite all of this, there is another initiative that goes unspoken. It is the global connectedness that current technology enables. Students are connected. Teachers are either managing well or struggling to stay up. Regardless, this is not something that is going away. It’s the Village, it’s eCommunity, it’s well, it’s everything.
It’s open; it’s transparent; it’s free; it’s rewarding; it’s a shared frustration; it’s inspirational; it’s a confirmation of direction; it’s anything you want it to be. Unlike most other attempts to bring educators together, it’s unwalled and that’s a little disturbing to some. It’s unwalled and that’s perfect for others as a forum for continuing the discussion.
From the big pool of 105M, how many are educators actively engaged in the discussion of the day? Singlehandedly, this isn’t the answer to every question. But, it is a start and the current best of breed communication medium to discuss the changes needed to stay current. It’s the only forum that’s available freely and to all educators.
I don’t need to close this post by summarizing who I think should be on Twitter, do I?