University of random twittering
November 16th, 2008

(Thanks, Megan!)

Several times a day, with increasing frequency and accuracy, one of the people who follows my personal account on Twitter — someone I’ve never heard from before — sends me a specific URL to check out. I check it out. Yes, indeed: this is something I need to know. Within the last couple hours I got one about blogging and the public sphere, and another one about teaching and learning. I try to reciprocate, but not necessarily as a direct quid pro quo — if I see something that someone I follow probably ought to know about, I send a link. A diffuse kind of ad-hoc educational institution emerges from the twittersphere in this way. There is no teacher and no student. We’re all teaching and learning from each other. But that’s just one way people use Twitter as a platform for ad hoc collaboration. This article on great twitter moments put it well, I think:

I believe what makes Twitter so valuable are these moments of connectivity that simply aren’t possible through any other communications tool. I’ve had these “Twitter moments” and I set out to discover “Twitter moments” from others as well. What all the following stories have in common is a Twitter user had a question or a concern, and someone (or many people) responded. Twitter was the connective tissue that made that moment happen in a time of need.

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