Twitter: Ok, I think I get it now

All I had to do was spend a week on Twitter (no, not a whole every-waking-hour week) to finally grasp the implications and power behind this Web 2.0 tool. This would fall into the whole, open-mind, keep learning part of The 23 Things that we keep talking about. Oh I had Tweeted before, my first Tweet was June 2009, and had been following a few people too. It wasn't until a comment on a blog I follow talked about Tweeting during ISTE '11 in Philadelphia that I took a second look.

Twitter is most often dismissed as a low-rent and featureless Facebook status message. Sure there is a lot of that but it is much more than that now. It is conversation. It is open conversation, like yelling from a roof top, with the ability to make sure that folks who share the same interest in the topic that you do, see your message.

This power is called a Hash Tag. A hash tag is nothing more than a # followed by a key word or phrase. ISTE '11's Hash Tag was #iste11 and any post with that tag would be sure to be seen by those following that tag. For the NEA conference in Chicago this week the tag was #neara11 and attendees Tweeted about discussions they had attended and who was eating where to name but two.

There is a point to this.

You could use Twitter in your classroom to further discussion outside the classroom in a manner and on an electronic device that most of your students from 6th grade on have in their pockets, their cell phones.
Might be an interesting experiment this coming year.