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Collaboration through twitter?

Last Thursday’s #edchatNZ has had me thinking a bit. The focus was on Collaboration. This in itself is a great topic and I’m really keen to see much more collaboration amongst teachers. However, there seemed to be a lot of people saying that the Edchat and Twitter were some of the best collaboration they had.

This really bothered me.

I did a quick search and tweeted this:

The problem I was having was that I could see that twitter and twitter chats are great for connection, for discussion and networking, but I couldn’t see much collaboration going on.

Twitter might start the discussion that lead to collaborative opportunities but I question how much collaborative work is being done “to produce something”.

Now, I’m not saying that collaboration cannot occur through twitter, I just wonder if true collaboration is occuring. How often is discussion/collaboration through twitter happening that results in an end product?

I want to see much more collaboration occuring amongst teachers. Particularly collaboration amongst colleagues within their own schools. I think that often this doesn’t happen to the extent that it should. I love hearing stories of where it is happening and hope that it’s spreading.

I also love hearing stories of the connectedness that is occuring thanks to Twitter, the VLN and other online (and offline) sites. It’s really exciting. I often wonder though about the ratio to those educators who are truly connected to those that are not yet connected (particularly online). Those that read great blog posts and get involved in the twitter chats that get them reflecting and improving on their own practice is probably minimal. Are the people that read these posts the ones that need to hear the messages? It’s a bit like preaching to the converted sometimes.

On the other hand, it’s good to keep sharing as if even one person takes something from a comment on twitter or a blog post that they can reflect on or take away to improve their practice then that is a great benefit not only to that teacher but to all the students that they teach.

I’ve got a bit off topic here, so maybe there’s another blog post to come at some point. Oh well. I’ll keep writing and hopefully some of what I say sometimes will resonate with someone!

Thanks for reading!


4 thoughts on “Collaboration through twitter?

  1. I do agree with what you are saying about Twitter being about connections, rather than collaboration. Your post here challenged me as to whether my answers during #edchatNZ/#aussieED were about connections or collaboration. While I am never going to get hung up on a definition, I do see that collaboration is more than just sharing ideas, or making comments in a “community” such as #edchatNZ or #aussieED.

    There needs to be an act of working together towards some outcome, even if this is the general outcome of improving the pedagogical practice of one (like commensalism in biology, I guess), or of both (like mutualism) via the sharing of ideas and feedback. That is where I love that the point you are making made me think – feedback and change are both critical if it is to be called “collaboration”.

    Right, I better get to my point. I personally find Twitter and #edchatNZ etc. great for “sharing” and for asking for help/ideas. This is only one step in a collaboration process. For me, it is a vital part, but I do agree with your overall point. If Twitter is your primary/best source of collaboration, how do you get the feedback etc. required within only 140 characters? You need to meet face-to-face, via an audio or video link, or even (dare I say it), comment on the other people’s respective blogs!

    1. Matt, you’ve made that really clear! I try not to get hung up on definitions but find that I do sometimes (especially edu-speak which I think is often misunderstood or can be interpreted in multiple ways).

      I totally agree that Twitter and twitter chats are one step in the collaboration process or perhaps even one step towards it.

      This is what happens sometimes when I take too long to write a blog post or write it over a couple of days! My points seem to kind of get lost! Glad you could help clarify it 😉

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Collaboration I have been involved with through twitter in the last day include: https://educampwelly.wikispaces.com/ #Edchatnz #wellyED #N4LPond #Scichatnz #Edchat #CENZ and all of https://drive.google.com/open?id=11cMt3qJ9nFWiOnbul1erBfvFF65Fv8FGgoCeNyLqWF4&authuser=0

    This week twitter inspired collaboration that I am going to include: G&T at Petone, Bioethics at VUW, Chrissie Butler at CoreEd and an Antarctica LEARNZ at dawn everyday (9am shoch horror), a Royal Society/Alan Wilson PalaeoLecture and Pathology Labs at OU, as well as Spanish Trip Films and Primary School outreach Stop Motion green Screen film making at the same time as the Bioethics symposium at AM102 from 1-4 at VUW Thursday 6th November (email me if interested) as well as Pond, CoreEd, OU, VUW, Massey consultation on the fly

    the point of the above is to say that twitter has opened a whole new world of collaboration – sure we do face to face Kanohi to kanohi, and talk in person but believe me when i tell you its a joy for you to limit me to 140 characters as like ebola a little of me goes a long way.

    Also Twitter means i can segment personal and professional lives by FB for family while tweating for work, and Ponding for pleasure, pinteresting for students, youtubing for fun, and google+ ing as a record in still life of where i have been

    Titter is the past present and future at least till the next tech wave brakes on these shaws. Connection is a #tweetdeck on #edchatnz, collaboration is joint planning #edcampwelly over a beer under the Southern Cross, But one flows into the other – and so it goes

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