As a newbie teacher, I vividly remember sitting in the teachers' lounge listening to the old farts (probably over 35) scoffing when a new teaching techique or resource was discussed. The refrain usually went something like, "Yeah, we tried that 20 years ago and it didn't work - and it won't work now." I vowed never to utter those words.
Maybe I am slipping, becoming an old fart despite my vow. Vivian, a member of Jeff Utecht's Coetail cohort, takes me to task over yesterday's post in which I complain (and share others' complaints) about some of the professional writing being shared being unvetted and old hat.
Thank you, Vivian - I needed your reminder that not everyone is old and jaded... Read on. Shared as a guest post with permission. (You can read more of her insightful commentary on her blog ChezVivan.)
Maybe I'm naive but I find it hard to believe that educators are mindlessly tweeting things. We have better uses of our time. I wonder how much of the frustration that is being described is due to professional boredom. You're at the top of your game so obviously a lot of what you read turns out to be "...an article discovering an idea that millions of educators have known for decades, but this time with diminished expectations."
How much of the frustration is that you (not you, personally--but you meaning the frustrated ones) are just satiated beyond belief with too much content and over-eating is making you cranky.
I'm a newbie on Twitter (two months) and blogging (three months). I'm ecstatic about the learning I'm doing through Coetail. I bet a lot of my Tweets are "old news" to you die-hard seasoned veterans. Good thing I know that there are other Coetail newbies that are following me and they will find my tweets useful (even though they are old news to everybody else). If I didn't have my Coetail buddies who are also new to Twitter and learning about 1:1 integration, I would seriously be intimidated by these comments and be afraid to tweet anything again.
When you shared the link to that ranting blogpost, I tweeted back to you, "Didn't catch the Twittername to make sure that I never follow someone so wise that he's forgotten what it's like to be a newbie." I still stand by that comment.
The nature of Social Media is that there is A LOT content. Someone made the analogy to it being like a "firehose" of information. No one forces anyone to read anything on the internet. If you're fed up, you can just close your browser and get some fresh air! We all have our rants internally but we have to take care regarding our online rants. To the writer of the original ranting blogpost, I wonder if his Twitter stream has altered at all? Probably not. So, what's the point of having the rant because the only result is maybe that he's frightened off a lot of young twitterers.
He mentioned in his article that some seasoned colleagues are tweeting links to rubbish. If so, then have a quiet word with that certain individual. That would make a difference, I'm sure.
Finally, there's an assumption that he is the correct judge of what is rubbish or not and an assumption that he is the fount of accuracy and knowledge. Woah. That's dangerous territory to assume that your judgement is always accurate. I bet there's someone opening up a link to HIS writing and thinking, "What a load of rubbish!" and wishing someone had not tweeted him this link. Should he also write a blogpost rant about it?
Food for thought. Here is my perspective as a two month Twitterer that has learned so much through Twitter and probably re-Tweeted a lot of exciting stuff (to me) but maybe old hat to those that are supposed to be my leaders and mentors. Yes, someone of it was probably rubbish too, but I didn't know it was rubbish as I AM LEARNING.
You're all trying to encourage teachers to build a PLN and then you all write blogposts like this? I don't get it.
I return to my main point. What is the nature of Social Media and Tweeting? The nature of the medium is that there will be rubbish that we have to sift through. Don't like the nature of the media? Then try something else: Online Research Journals. Don't like what someone is tweeting, unfollow them.
Please don't let me be this jaded in a few years!
Thanks for listening!
Thanks for commenting. I needed to hear this.