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EDTECH: "Live" Twitter Projection During Conferences (& Hearings?)

Projecting Twitter feeds onto a screen during meetings and conferences is the cool thing to do in some circles these days.  You hear and read about it all the time these days -- most recently in that TIME magazine article from last week that I'm too lazy to look up for you. 

Picture 2The 140-character comments of those at the meeting and those watching in online scroll past as panelists drone one. No one has to hit refresh on their iPhone keep up on what the Twitterati have to say about the event, even as it happens.  No one has to worry about being mocked on Twitter without knowing it's happening, in real time. 

I have yet to experience it first hand, but it sounds like it might feel sort of like being telepathic, in the sense that it lets you know what people are thinking (saying) even if they don't utter a single word aloud during an event. And it's not all that different from Google jockeying or Google talking, which people do all the time. Perhaps soon the President and his Cabinet officials will have Twitter updates posted to their TelePrompters (or to aides holding cue cards in the back of the room) so that they can know what we're thinking about as they speak to us, and adjust accordingly.  Hell, a Twitter screen up on the wall at a hearing or markup could be in the works already. 

The real question is whether the practice is simply reflecting the distracted, frenzied way people think and communicate these days, or is it actually making the conversation more fractured for those who are actually at the event?   What do those of you who've experienced it first hand think about it?

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I'm frenzied just thinking about all of this Twittering! While I realize this is my first experience with Twitter, and when I reach into the furthest parts of my brain, I can see some redeeming qualities to Tweeting (or whatever the proper word is), I just think, can't we all just speak to one another? Has our society become so complex that it's become better to just not talk and listen. Who needs to learn the skill of listening anymore, or patience? Do we all just need to do things in our time frame? Have we lost the art of wait time?
I can stretch and see some good things, but I don't know... this may be too much.

I am currently in a grad class and we are just learning to use Twitter. During one of the professor's lectures, his twitter page was displayed on the overhead and it definitely was distracting. As a middle school teacher, I can only imagine the effect it would have on my students. (as if that age needs any more distraction) I could probably be dressed in a monkey suit clanging two cymbals together and the students still wouldn't pay me any mind with "tweets" constantly appearing behind me..... not to mention the inability to edit inappropriate student comments. However, I do believe that, used as the center of the lesson, Twitter could be a fun way for students to comment and question on a former lecture. It also might encourage the shyer students to input their thoughts & opinions.

I can see using Twitter as a tool to get a class discussion started. You can look up a specific topic and project it on the overhead screen. The students are going to comment on what other people around the world have to say. They wil then comment on each other. I just have to make sure they stay on track and drop a new question every now and then. I find that the kids often times learn more from each other than they do me anyway. Why not take advantage of a new tool.

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