Sunday, May 5, 2013

We Don't Tweet: Jane Hart's 10 Tools Challenge

I have been working to "get" twitter. Okay, it is not that complex…but please don't laugh, I finally made a job aid card. After rereading Chapter 2 of Jane Bozarth's "Social Media for Trainers" for the third time, I realized I needed to get it into my long term brain once and for all. 

Apparently, I am not alone. I run into peers everyday that run screaming from twitter. It's short cryptic phrases, laced with non-sensical symbols, seem to annoy my verbose peers who can barely get out a hello out in 140 characters, let alone a whole stream of consciousness. 

But, it's not just folk from the Training and Development profession who struggle with twitter…no, no.
Last week, I spoke at the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce's "Young Professional Network," a group of 'under 40' professionals from my local community. In working with the planning team for this event, the organizers wanted something "young, hip, and techie."

They suggested we build in "something" with twitter into the 90 minute presentation. We created a hashtag before our event and staged a "twitter poll" real time during the presentation. In launching the poll, I got a dose of reality…out of the 44 young professionals in the room, about four of them had a twitter account and were comfortable with twitter. Wow. 

So, why I am working to master this tool? Why does Twitter matter to me? In this world of continuous words and distractions, twitter seems very timely. Less really can be more. We can call out quickly, highlight the key idea, or share the nugget. One really good idea is actually much better than a day's worth of very average ideas. Twitter can deliver this idea for you and me. In Bozarth's book Social Media for Trainers, she walks you through numerous creative uses of twitter in the learning process:  pre-work, introductions, backchannel, intercession work, continuing conversations, talk to an expert, debate, role play and more! 

My brain is buzzing for possible twitter applications for learning. I am thrilled to be gaining more comfort with this tool, but even more so for having my eyes opened to the possibilities for learning. Thanks to +Jane Hart  for her ten tool challenge, to +Jane Bozarth  for her vision for this tool's potential and to Catherine Lombardozzi  for  the push. 

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