After having spent some time perusing the concept of higher education through the Twitter application. While I have scarcely used Twitter as a means of sharing or collecting information in the past, this experience opened my eyes as to “why” some Twitter users are so enthralled with its uses. There seems to be an infinitely huge amount of information available the user. This experience allowed me to discover how specific the search options can be allowing the user to “pin-point” exactly what they are trying to find. Using hashtags, it is possible to find information or Twitter accounts which provide ample examples of the search criteria. Some of these hashtag examples are; #edci339, #edtechuvic, #bcedchat and #OER.
Unfortunately, I was not able to be a part of the Twitter Chat last week as we were out of town with no Wi-Fi access. I would have liked to have had the chance a part of it as t would have been my first Twitter Chat. I have only experienced the app from my perspective, which I admit has been quite limited. Having the opportunity to share ideas and hear others’ opinions on a collective concept could be very powerful.
When considering who’s voices are amplified within the app, I believe that an account user’s voice is far more influential (positively or negatively) depending on how many people are listening to them. There are certain political figures in the world who’s views do not reflect my own and yet, I hear what they have to say even though often times I wish I hadn’t. This is one of the concerns I have around this type of public media. The louder the voice, the more influence they have over their viewers. This type of media is reminiscent of a popularity contest and I have concerns around that aspect.
One questions I do have about Twitter and similar apps; “Who is in control of the filters and the censoring of inappropriate online material?” What are the values that these people have? How quickly do they respond to inappropriate content? How long before that content is removed?
While I am learning more about the resource, I am hesitant to use it in the classroom as the students may think that what they find on Twitter is a viable source of information. While I understand that most accounts are using their judgement to share important and relevant information, this kind of app should be viewed as an informal source of information. If it to be used in the classroom, the students should be encouraged to use this platform as a means of gathering opinions and thoughts they might have around a particular question. Following that, they should find credible, viable sources of information that can be used as references for their research.
Overall, I enjoyed the Twitter experience and will continue to dabble with it to learn more about its potential.