Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tweet to Expertise

Twitter is a perfect crowdsourced educational tool.  The 140 character site for sharing quips and links can help you develop expertise in any topic in just a few weeks.

The learning culture that has evolved on Twitter consists of millions of users following people and subjects of interest and sharing comments and links to relevant content.  Particularly good content is retweeted which spreads it to even more Twitter users.

Here are five reasons why Twitter is the perfect tool for learning:

1.  Content is current.  Unlike most books and classes, the content on Twitter consists of news articles and blogs written within a few hours of being tweeted. This means the information is fresh and up-to-date.

2.  Content is delivered a little at a time.  We learn best when we see information multiple times in different formats and context. Since most links are to articles with only a few paragraphs or a few pages at most, you can learn a little from each article.

3. Content is not coherent. Because information on Twitter comes from a variety of sources, it is not organized neatly and wrapped up with a shiny bow. I believe this is an advantage because it forces the reader to consider and reconcile conflicting points of few.

4. Content is filtered for quality. Any link on Twitter is there because someone read it and thought it was good enough to post.  If someone retweets the link, they thought it was good enough to share.  This crowdsourced filtering system causes good content to be repeated and bad content to fade away.

5. You have partial control over the content. Because you choose who you follow, you can add people who share content that interests you and remove people who share content that you don’t value. However, your reliance on others to choose which content they share can provide enough variety to continually bring you new ideas. Managed properly, it can be a perfect balance.

How does social media fit into your learning plans?

How do you feel it compares to other learning methods?