When should you retire from Twitter?

Shortly before attending ISTE in San Antonio four years ago, I joined Twitter on the recommendation of Judy O’Connell. I remember people at the conference talking about it in the blogger’s cafe just before I went to hear Konrad Glogowski talk about his PhD research in digital-literacies, which I still remember of one of the most inspiring presentations I’ve ever seen. I remember to, Will Richardson UStreaming it and how packed the room was as Konrad talked about rethinking his role in the classroom, before he headed off to his first Teachers Without Borders trip to Africa. Today Konrad is their Director of Programs and Will is running what is probably the most transformative professional development consultancy in the USA and me, well I’m thumping trees.

I also remember listening to a crazy woman, who I later learned was the Guild Leader of Cognitive Dissonance talk about using Warcraft to teach and Al Upton inventing a new cocktail via Wikipedia, the Fiery Red Leather. Little did I know then, how important all these seemingly unconnected events were. And that – friends and followers – is the total point of connectivism, and why kids need to know how it works, why it works and how they too can put it to work.

Four years doesn’t seem like a long time. I calculate that I’ve pinged Twitter with over 5 million characters and had the absolute privilege to meet and work with some amusingly creative and visionary people that I would otherwise never have collided with.  I think Konrad, in 2009, was somewhat visionary when he said that digital communities simply need someone to talk to, and what they create together is a nexus of independent learners, writers and researchers that removes hierarchical and structure to focus the learning process itself. Konrad said it’s like this …

Here’s my plan – could you comment?

Work in progress. Please comment everyone.

Rough draft. Comments would be greatly appreciated.

My essay unfolds … any thoughts?

Thesis improved (again). Tell me what you think.

If this isn’t the day to day experience that will change the world, then I don’t know what is. As the year draws to a satisfying close, I can reflect on Konrad’s ideas, which permeate our community of learners in Massively Minecraft. This is how they learn inside a complex and interactive process of knowledge building. This has been my window, a product of what was happening between 200-2005. So I figure I’ll keep writing my blog, keep tinkering with game-worlds with my #perma-list and helping anyone where I can, but as to Twitter, I figure I’ve had my day and dumped enough characters into the meta-verse, time to create space for others. There are some amazing people out there – I suggest we give them a go, and not for heavens sake fall into the trap of getting people to talk on any other basis that they currently have a GREAT story to share.

As for Twitter, I’ll still be around, but I won’t be adding another 5 million characters.


One thought on “When should you retire from Twitter?

  1. It’s so cliche to start a comment with this, but I love a good cliche (I think it’s why I’m still on twitter!) so I’ll start that way anyway …

    I was only thinking about this the other day … I’ve been using twitter for a while now and whilst initially I was overwhelmed by the volume of ideas and links, I’ve now reached a plateau in use. I took a couple of weeks off twitter a month or so ago and since returning haven’t felt the same about it. Where did I go? To my blog, to email, text and edmodo. Why? I have grown – thanks to twitter – a beautiful network of dedicated, interesting and passionate people that challenge how I think and how I do stuff and they too are slipping silently away from twitter and (re)connecting in other less public and ‘me, me’ ways.

    Twitter, I still firmly believe, will change the way most teachers views teaching. I encourage all new teachers to jump in. They get caught up in a tidal wave of tweets, start to venture off into their own tweets and network and that’s beautiful too. But there is a time when stepping back/away/out is needed … to be quiet.

    I’ll be sticking with twitter too … skimming and scanning for the little gems that pop up every now and then, sharing useless info, maybe something great, maybe something crap. But trying to wade out of the mire at this point in my twitter career is essential. Otherwise I’ll plateau too.

    Thanks Dean. Best.

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