TBergeron

Father of 3, husband, educator and lifelong learner.

#EDCI-339 – Topic #4 Post

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.

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2 Comments

  1. Michelle July 29, 2020

    Hi Todd,

    I enjoyed reading your final individual post. I agree with your feelings about Twitter amplifying the voices of those with the most followers. It does seem that Twitter gives a platform for popular or celebrity individuals to express opinions that they may not be an authority on which leads to a lot of misinformation. It is also important to discuss the credibility of sources and information. Just because something is shared by a large number of people does not make it factual. I think it is very important that teachers teach their students how to distinguish credible sources from non-credible sources, especially when working in an open environment like Twitter.

    Take care,
    Michelle

  2. tessgreenlay July 29, 2020

    Hi Todd,

    Thank you for sharing your insights on Twitter and what it has to offer. I think we both are on the same side about wanting to learn more about Twitter and its best use in terms of learning.

    I really enjoyed your perspective on Twitter since you brought up some ideas that I hadn’t thought about myself. You mentioned that Twitter feels like it’s more of a popularity contest since most of the time the most famous/recognized voices are the ones that are flooding the app. I could not agree more with you on this. Often times when I do check Twitter, the accounts that have the most retweets, likes and/or comments are from personalities who have thousands or millions of followers. Even though it’s great people have a large platform, it comes with a lot of responsibly (and I don’t think every person realizes how much power they hold with their amount of followers).

    I also think the questions you posed about Twitter touch on some important areas, especially if considering using Twitter in the classroom environment. I think it would be great to see what Twitter has to say about the questions you’ve mentioned since it would be great to know what guidelines they use to deem material appropriate versus inappropriate.

    It has been a pleasure working with you throughout this course, and I’ve enjoyed getting to read about your ideas and perspectives on each topic. Thank you for all your hard work and all the best!

    Tess

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