Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Passion or Promotion?

I have really enjoyed and benefitted from being active on Twitter. It has helped me build connections and develop strong relationships that have provided great learning experiences for both my students and me. Twitter introduces me to new practices in education and provides insight into current research. I can learn what is going on in others’ classrooms and schools. After attending ISTE, observing recent tweets and also chatting with friends, I wonder…
“Is there a fine line between sharing your passion and promoting yourself on Twitter?”
Here are some of my wonderings…

  • Is it expected that you follow everyone who follows you?
  • Do people compare the numbers of followers to following?
  • Is it ideal for educators to disclose that they are associated with certain companies, services or apps on their profile? 
Retweeting (RT) - not responding
  • Is it okay to RT or quote any compliments given by others?
  • Should you RT or quote when someone has given you positive comments about your blog?
  • How often should you tweet out your blog? 
  • Is it cool to drop into a chat, introduce yourself and ask for people to follow?
  • Is it okay for one to drop into a chat, share a blog with little or no contribution?
  • Are there any unknown protocols or expectations when participating in a Twitter chat? 
Direct Messages (DM)
  • How do you feel about automated messages thanking you for following?
I understand that for some, education is their livelihood and Twitter is great for promoting oneself or a company. Have you noticed the increase of paid advertising lately? Educators may need to promote their book, app, sponsor, or perhaps their goal is to be the next keynote speaker at a conference. I think Twitter will always consist of Passion and Promotion and I suppose that’s life. I wonder… is it necessary to know one’s purpose and does it really matter?

I so appreciate the humility and generosity of many educators who share their passion, successes, failures, blogs, lessons and reflections. I assume they do this because they want what is best for their students. Or should I say our students, as they share to make us more effective educators as Brad Currie so clearly stated on #satchat. 

What does matter is that the students and their learning should always be our focus.


  1. Oh what wicked questions. This post has been brewing in my head ever since. It left me reflecting on many of my practises. A part of me feels that I share my thoughts and writing because ideally I like the possibility of getting different feedback and pushback. I often attach posts with Twitter handles to those either who's ideas inspired/were incorporated within the post or I know have a direct interest. Do I have a set of 50 people who I tweet each post out to? No. Do I post out incessantly, not often. I have been known to RT tweets, but not sure it is the most productive practise.
    In the end, it is about the community you create I guess. I would like to think that if my ideas gel with some people that, like myself, I would follow their blogs back (I follow via Feedly). However, if I do not agree with the approach and method of the person in question, I have one simple choice. Stop following and supporting. There are some edu-gurus who never reply. Do I comment on their posts? Not really. I have voted with my feet I guess. Not sure what we have beyond that.

  2. It is about the community you create! I totally agree. Thank you for pushing when needed and supported when required.

  3. Nice reflective post Andrea - many wonderings here.
    I think using Twitter is analogous to driving a car. We all drive a car to get from A to B - yet how we get there may differ. We may use different vehicles, take different routes, sometimes we breakdown, other times we run out of petrol. The fundamental purpose is to get to our intended destination. However, for us all to enjoy driving safely, there are rules, laws and common courtesies in place. We all know that each driver complies with these differently.
    Similarly, our connections through Twitter and other online tools / media have their own rules / polices / etiquette in place. It's up to the individual user (driver) to determine whether they want to have a safe and enjoyable connection.
    Just beware of other reckless drivers :-)

  4. Love your sense of humour Paul. Thank you for your comment. You are definitely not a P- plated. I think the word etiquette is more appropriate for Twitter. Appreciate you!