I have been reading quite a bit about Twitter. Twitter is a free social networking and microblogging program. Today I read an article by Jeffrey Young in the Chronicle of Higher Education "Forget E-Mail: New Messaging Service Has Students and Professors Atwitter" which is actually a followup to an earlier article "A Professor’s Tips for Using Twitter in the Classroom." The program allows you to send short notes (up to 140 characters) to other people’s cell phones or computers. The success of the service so far has encouraged Blackboard to announce that they will be adding a similar feature to their content management system.
It was interesting to read the article, but I really had mixed thoughts about this. On one hand, I really like technology, probably too much since I have been accused of using technology merely for technology’s sake. On the other hand, I am not sure that I see the value of this service. Most of the instructors in the article talk about using it to send out messages to their students in the morning before class or reactions and thought about a previous class. Now, maybe it is because I am not into text messaging (blame that on being old and/or cheap), but if I was a student I am not sure that I would want more of the instructor outside of class. I do see the advantage for being able to cancel class in a hurry, but how often does the need for doing that arise? I guess I will pass on this until someone can convince me otherwise.