“I don’t get it…” I used to reply with a vacant expression and doe-wide, unblinking eyes.
Twitter. Its 140 character max evaded me, with my peers shouting their thoughts into the internet void.
As a teacher who seeks community, I GET IT NOW.
Perhaps it’s taken a mathematical perspective, but I now understand. Twitter helps to connect people who care about similar topics. I’ve taken to exploring Twitter in the mornings with my toast and a cup of coffee, to see where the hashtag #edchat or #edtech may bring me.
One morning I found a stream of an #edchat from the night before, a Thursday, led by Craig Kemp, on the importance of educator-bloggers.The following week I joined the #edchat on Thursday night and felt instantly connected to other educators around the world who were wondering similar, sophisticated questions.
This Twitterverse makes for a great place to chat, and at first I would have thought the conversation shallow, given the 140 character limit. This is where paper.li comes in.
What is Paper.li?
Paper.li is a website and mobile app that allows users to source content into a quick newspaper online. It can link to your social media (ahem, see my Twitter), pull information that you care about, and key in on a search term such as “educational technology” as shown below.
All content is interactive and links out to the original source for the full read (or view, as videos are linked lower in the news stream). I get to read what I care about most a particular moment in time online. (Cool, right?!)
Now, Twitter is strong on its own, and Paper.li is strong on its own. However, when the two are added together, they become Powerful, like Crossfit, squats urryday Powerful. Craig Kemp harnesses this power as he shares out his “Craig Kemp Daily” with the Twitterverse before #edchats to give his followers rich content to explore and tweet about. Paper.li, like knowledge, should not be kept a secret. It should be shared with all, loudly and proudly. Twitter is the perfect megaphone for the content curated on Paper.li, as seen in Kemp’s “Craig Kemp Daily” below.
Not only can this be a powerful personal development tool, but I can also see myself using this as a school staff development tool. What’s even better? My students can quickly learn about new topics, whether we’re doing a research project in English class, or they’re checking out current events for social studies. I won’t say the possibilities are endless, but they’re certainly not limited to just 140 characters anymore.
Questions to Consider:
- How can you see yourself utilizing the Paper.li + Twitter equation in your classroom?
- How else might you utilize the Paper.li + Twitter equation?
- What other tools or website might you add to this equation to create Rich Community Conversation?