A year on
It’s been a year now since the @IrritableTech twitter profile started getting involved in conversations, publishing links and having an opinion on eSafety, Data Security and associated subjects. The twitter profile was actually set up a few months before, and under a slightly different name.
My first tweet was neither funny, clever or helpful to anyone.
Two things happened in November 2011. Firstly I had a disagreement with my line manager and secondly, we both ended up going to a conference in London – thankfully not on the same day. The disagreement had centred around the use of twitter (and possibly other social media) within the classroom. My manager explained that twitter gave staff and students access to leaders in their field, global conversations and one of the fastest ways to gather news. I completely disagreed and argued we were opening a gateway into the classroom which at best, informed us of football players eating habits, and at worst bad language, dodgy pictures and cyberbullying.
Although to this day I try to remind people of the seedier side of social networking that does exist, it was the teachology conference which started to change my mind on twitters positives.
We heard from @trees2066 who explained how he was using hand held technology in primary classrooms, @David_MillerUK who described his use of web 2.0 site to engage students in learning, @caroljallen who uses (and tests) technology in ways I would never have thought of to help differently able students, @chickensaltash explained how he used sites like facebook to help get kids to be creative, and @simfin who introduced himself as the voice of doom but discussed how to use technology safely whilst enhancing education.
All of these people used twitter extensively, and I was surprised to find out on the train home, they had been tweeting while the event went along. I decided I clearly didn’t know enough about twitter to form my strong opinion. I decided on the train to get more involved.
A few things in Simons presentation rung a chord with me. Firstly, create policies which stop people losing their job, rather than stop people doing their job – a quote I often come out with now. Secondly that we should flood google with positive things about ourselves. We should be utilising the web to advertise ourselves as well as drowning out the little bits of bad we may have previously left behind.
It made me wonder whether someone could build up a good reputation with little or no previous history, perhaps not even a real name. Â @IrritableTech was born.
A year later, I think I have built a decent reputation for knowing one or two things about education technology, eSafety, data security and digital footprints. I’ve built a large network of people around me who seem to find some of the content I produce useful, but more than that is what I gain from them. I’ve a lot more to learn, but feel that with this network of people around me, I’m in good hands.