Twitter study

Uploaded to Flickr by Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

Uploaded to Flickr by Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

Why do we use twitter? I had a couple of conversations with students about Twitter over the last week. We (at least I) discussed how it could be a useful tool. “Tool” being the operative word – the old saying “A tool is only as good as the person using it” – seems to be in play here. I agreed with them that it could be a useless self-aggrandising tool but it could also be much more.

I know that there people who have to decide what to do about social media  such as  Twitter, especially when it might be an important commercial decision.  In schools, is it a useful and safe tool for students to use. I talked about some of the uses that I had noticed and now there is some data. TNS and The Conference Board have just completed a study investigating this  newsworthy Web2.0 tool.  

Whilst there are good number of us who use it to keep in touch with friends the breakdown looks like this:

  • 41.4% use it to keep in touch with friends
  • 29.1% used it to update their status,
  • 25.8% to find news and stay updated
  • 21.7% for work purposes
  • and 9.4% for research. 

School educational uses (and I have posted about some of them in this blog) do not seem to have been incorporated into this marketing study. Of course there is some overlap in the results but it is interesting that non-social uses are in the majority. The self-promotion and headline grabbing uses that have have dominated in the news media and been responsible for the contempt shown for this this tool appear to be wrong. It is still in its very early days but education and information seems to be a very big part of the way it is going.

Fake websites – Internet literacy

Why is our first impulse to believe something that we see, read or hear? Especially if it is in print, online or comes in an “officially” looking packaging? How do we teach ourselves and our students, that another impulse has to follow the first one immediately: Evaluate…critical thinking… learn to listen for and to your own “gut feeling”… cross referencing…”

So far I have brought together some of the hoax sites and will work on organising some suggested activities that will lead the students to “discover” the problems with not evaluating the information they find.

So I have included most of the sites I have found, and believe would be useful in classrooms, below. Any other good sites would be welcomed. Next step some simple and medium level activities

  • Burmese Mountain Dogs The ‘official’ site for the breed you will never before heard of.

Don Tapscott: more on growing up digital

This is a short interview of author Don Tapscott (Grown Up Digital) and family talking about growing up in the digital world.

Interesting that when discussing multi-tasking. He describes the difference between the young and those older.  The Read/Write web also posted something about the topic of Multi-tasking, The Older You Are, the Better You Multi-Task (If You’re a Woman).

In new data, released by Integrated Media Measurement Inc. (IMMI), it claims to give us insight into how men and women engage in “simultaneous media use.”  According to the study, it’s more common for women to watch TV and use the computer than it is for men. What’s more, women supposedly get better at this multi-tasking as they age. I always though that it was a given that women were better at multi-tasking, and not just in a digital sense, because they have been doing it in all sorts of areas for years. This study just adds more weight to my long held beliefs.

Useful Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.



Working in a Catholic boys school meant that I was intrigued to see a new search engine called CatholicGoogle. It is a search engine built by eBizWebPages just for Catholics. They want to provide an easy-to-use resource to anyone wanting to learn more about Catholicism.
It is powered by Google using “safe search” technology and produces results from all over the internet with more weighting to given to Catholic websites and eliminates a lot of “unsavory content”.
This site is not associated or affiliated with but the site owners work closely with Google to make sure the results remain in line with Catholic doctrine. I haven’t spent a lot of time looking at it yet but will have to as we go back to school at the end of the month. I will be interested to see just how it compares to the Catholic encyclopedia and what results come up when some of the more controversial topics are searched.

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