Twitter – The Good, the Bad, and the Ashton Kutcher

I first heard of Twitter a year ago and was baffled by its usefulness. However, the website’s popularity has caused me to reexamine and revisit the site. If you are new to the site, twitter is a site in which users frequently broadcast brief updates, usually of one or two sentences long. When I first visited twitter, I saw little value in the social network, but as an educator it’s my responsibility to understand and utilize new media.

Many micro-bloggers use twitter as a means of broadcasting meaningless events from their life. This form of status updates, popular on Facebook and MSN, are referred to as lifecasting. Ashton Kutcher, a frequent and popular Twitterer, is a quitessential lifecaster. Despite logic, Ashton is on his way to becoming the most popular person on twitter. He’s become so popular that he has recently challenged the national newsnetwork CNN to a twitter popularity contest. CNN represents another form of twittering known as infocasting, where small amounts of information are posted. Despite their usefulness, infocasts can often become hollow or superficial. However, a valuable infocast to follow is education where useful news about education trends and developments are posted.

The brighter side of twitter is called mindcasting. Twitterers that are mindcasting will never share their meal choices or bad date experiences; instead, mindcasters share thoughtful ideas and useful resources. Anyone can tap into the thoughts of some of the world’s most innovative minds, which is a great resource for any professional, especially educators.

Top five mindcasts to follow for media literacy teachers

1) Jay Rosen: “I teach journalism at NYU, write the blog PressThink, direct NewAssignment.Net, and try to grok new media. I don’t do lifecasting but mindcasting on Twitter.”

2) David Parry: “I think about things, and talk about things with students, and get paid for it. (Emerging Media Prof. at UT Dallas.)”
3) Scott McLeod: “An Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Educational Administration program at Iowa State University and director of CASTLE.”
4) Alec Couros: “Professor of educational technology & media at the Faculty of Education, University of Regina.”
5) Scott Meech: “Technology in Education isn’t the Future, It is the Present!” He is an expert in education and technology.