Academic journal article The Technology Teacher

The Year of Social Networking

Academic journal article The Technology Teacher

The Year of Social Networking

Article excerpt

Two years ago I created a Facebook account and, other than some perfunctory poking around, promptly forgot all about it. Fast forward to today. Checking in with my Facebook friends is now something I do on a daily basis. More recently I have added "Tweeting" to my networking routine. For the uninitiated, it's difficult to understand the attraction of social networking, but the best explanation I've read to date appeared in a Time Magazine article by Steven Johnson. Johnson, describing the Twitter phenomenon, states, "By following these quick, abbreviated status reports from members of your extended social network, you get a strangely satisfying glimpse of their daily routines. The social warmth of all those stray details shouldn't be taken lightly"

It's true, and I do get that "social warmth" from hearing about my niece's soccer exploits in Mississippi or about certain technology teachers' classroom experiences. It makes me feel closer to them, a part of their lives--as they have become a part of mine. It's rewarding to be a part of the larger social fabric comprised of old high school friends, far-flung relatives, and, in my case, quite a few ITEA members.

Another experience that left an impression with me occurred while I was attending a publishing conference. I received "Tweets" that alerted me about conference events and updates throughout the day. The immediacy, informal tone, and just the "wow factor" made the applicability of Twitter in a conference setting very obvious to me. If I have my way, ITEA WILL be "Tweeting" in Charlotte!

Social networking is huge because it is literally changing the landscape of how we are able to interact with one another. We "Tweet" "Update our Status" or "Comment" rather than talk, and yet it's now easier than ever to stay in touch with people we haven't seen or heard from in years.

As part of a membership organization, this is great news for all of us. One of the biggest benefits of being part of an organization like ITEA is the sense of community, shared experience, and helping one another. …

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