Tweet My What?

katBy Kat Kiefer-Newman

From their laptops, their Blackberries, their iPhones, and now their iPads they Tweet. They Tweet in the library, the parking lot, walking along the pathways, in the dining hall. They Tweet because they can. And I am of the think-set that technology in college is “a good thing” (as Martha Stewart is fond of saying). But when they Tweet during my class, during my lectures, or when they are supposed to be working on a group or writing assignment, I get a miffed. I take their electronic gadget away from them, and if the Tweet is really cute, I read it aloud (often embarrassing them into never doing it again).

Did someone just ask “What’s a Tweet?” Well, my under-a-rock dweller, Tweets are those teeny-tiny (140 character) interactions in status lines on the social networking web site, Twitter. This sort of interaction is called micro-blogging, because it’s, well, micro (translation: really-really-really small).

Don’t believe what the Urban Dictionary lists as the #1 definition: “A stupid site for stupid people with no friends, who think everyone else gives a [@#$%] what they’re doing at any given time” (Urban Dictionary). I roll my eyes at this

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2 Comments for “Tweet My What?”

  1. Katherine Kiefer-Newman

    Hey There ProfHacker JBJ! Thanks for popping in. Your Oct. 2009 piece on “Gadgets In The Classroom” ( has really excellent points about attitudes on tech in the classroom….and like you note in your post that I reference, understanding our students’ world is key to deeper and better education….accessibility comes in all sorts of ways, after all.

  2. Nice post. Where you ask, “isn’t that what ‘we’ do in class anyway?,” I had two different thoughts:

    1) I think so! And so that’s one of the ways I frame Twitter and such for folks who are anxious about their twittering colleagues.

    2) While you and I think that’s what we do, the scare-quotes around we are well taken, because I can think of a good # of people–including people whose teaching I admire very much–who are all business, all the time with their students.

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