I played around with twitter a few months ago when Ashton Kutcher challenged Larry King to a twitter popularity contest. I did not do too much else with twitter because I felt that my facebook social network was enough for me to keep up with. However, after listening to Will Richardson, a top edublogger and author of "Blogs, Wikis and Podcasts", at the Leading and Learning Conference in Red Deer today, I realized I needed to give tweeting another try. Richardson contends that Twitter provides "passion-based learners" a way to connect with each other. He inspired me once before to start reading blogs and then to blog and I am back in the swing of things as I begin tweeting.
Mr. Richardson talked about social networks, and how, as educators, we need to start teaching digital learners in our classrooms about their presence online and how they can connect with others outside their physical space to learn. He mentioned the new literacy, which is the "literacy of learning" online. Indeed, there are lots of ways to connect with others who have similar interests and passions. From groups of municylcists (yes, they really do exist!) sharing daring adventures on youtube and various forums, to individuals seeking answers to questions on youtube, twitter and facebook, there are lots of ways to connect.
Here is a video that Mr. Richardson showed to illustrate how powerful social networks can be as we learn to connect with others online.
After watching this video of a 12 year old boy searching out an answer to his question, you realize that this is no longer about technology, it is about culture. Digital natives are growing up in a digital world and the reality is that the internet is a way of life.
What networks do you connect with to learn outside your physical space?