Thing #5 Microblogging

Microblink states:

Microblogging [mahy-kroh-blŏg-ing] verbA small-scale form of blogging, generally made up of short, succinct messages, used by both consumers and businesses to share news, post status updates and carry on conversations.

Wikipedia states microblogging is a:

form of multimedia blogging that allows users to send brief text updates or micromedia such as photos or audio clips and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group which can be chosen by the user.
The key components of microblogging are the short length, the simpler format, and the multiple ways it may be conducted.

Both Facebook and Twitter are forms of microblogging.

By now you should already know how Facebook played a roll in the 2008 presidential campaign. The district's Accountability & Reseach Department requested Facebook be opened so that graduates may be tracked -- a "going where they are" philosophy -- because email is an antiqued form of communication to young people!

You will need to create an account before you can investigate all the features of Facebook. The simple registration is right there on the intial page.

Yes, Facebook allows you to keep up with your friends but businesses and organizations also have a presence on Facebook. Even Facebook has a Facebook account! You can sign up to be a fan of these groups. Examples include: School Library Journal, PBS, American Presidents Blog, TX Assoc. for GT

To find more of these public pages , you must sign in. At the bottom of any of your pages, click on the Groups icon.

When the page opens, click on Browse Groups and you will see a list on the right side of group catagories that you can visit.

Facebook is also a part of the mobile computing community in that you can access and use Facebook from your phone or other mobile computing devices.
If you need more help with Facebook, go here.

Here is how one student solved a very common problem faced by graduating Seniors by using Facebook.
Instead of posting a note on the student center bulletin board, these college students use Facebook.
Need help planning for college? Here are some Facebook apps that will provide that help: Gradzilla, College Planner, SkoolPool

Book Clubs for Kids on Facebook

If you are still uncertain about your postion towards Facebook, read Diane Chen's blog post Facebooking---a little long but check out the bottom portion especially. How she answers the question "why Facebook?" may give you a reason or two that fits!

The Common Craft Guys help explain Twitter, another microblogging resource.
[the embeded copy of this video has been removed due to technical issues. It can be viewed by clicking the link.]

Twitter in Plain English from leelefever on Vimeo

From the Twitter Fan Wiki here are more answers to "Twitter is ...."

Twitter optimizes the "shortness" of microblogging because answers can only be 140 characters long! And just like Facebook, Twitter is part of the mobile computing world becasue it can be done from a computer or phone in several formats.

It is simple to join. Just create an acoount using an email address and password.

The Twitter blog has some information on searching techniques. This would be especially useful if you search for the same information regularly or you are trying to keep up with local, national or even international events as they occur.

The Twittter experience is only as good as your network. Have an objective or reason for following Tweeters that you add to your group. You also want to be a good twittizen and practice good Twitter manners.

Here is a recent post by 2 cents worth about how and why to do twitter.

If you doubt the popularity and power of tweeting, check out these power brokers who use it. D.C. Top 10 Twitters

Even our district now has a way for you to keep in touch through Twitter. It's Twitter identity is Spring Branch ISD.

Here are some reasons why educators should consider using Twitter in school and with students.

Library/Education Twitters to check out. Their Twitter IDs are included.
David Warlick from 2 Cents Worth - dwarlick his Twitter page
Scott McLeod from Dangerously Irrelevant - mcleod comments from college students about Twitter
Joyce Valenza from NeverEndingSearch - joycevalenza mapping your Twitter network
Michael Stephens from Tame the Web - mstephens7 can I Twitter that?
Jessamyn West from - jessamyn library/book vendors who Twitter
Vicki Davis from CoolCatTeacher - coolcatteacher scroll down to How I use Twitter

No Internet Required with Twitter
Twitter Guide Book (digital)

Another form of microblogging that is even more informal is back-channeling. From Wikipedia, back-channeling is defined as
the practice of electronically passing notes among some or all of the audience/students during the lecture. When sanctioned, this practice is particularly useful for speakers who are attempting to dynamically modify their presentations based on immediate feedback from the audience. When unsanctioned, this practice is often very distracting for the presenter.
Back-channeling is often used at large conferences or large lecture-style classes where clarifying questions are often asked by the audience or students and answered by facilitators who work in tandem with the presenter. It has be also be used when students can not be present for the actual lecture and participate from long-distance.

Twitter is often used to conduct back-channeling. Two other resources include Today's Meet and TinyChat. Joyce Valenza writes about the use of these resources.

What about those students who find it difficult to speak out in a group setting? Would a back-channel opportunity make it easier for them to participate?

For your blog post, describe your experiences with Facebook and Twitter. Give suggestions as to how these resouces could aid students in and out of the classroom. Give ideas for using back-channeling at school.

P.S. Join the group below that Wonder Weiss created for all of us...another useful feature of FB.


  1. Hey, I made us a facebook group:
    Check it out!

  2. As far as I know SBISD teachers are not supposed to be on social-network sites with students until they graduate. What are the current guidelines about this?

  3. I know of no such policy.
    There are several very successful uses of digital resources bwtween teachers and students.

    Of course, teachers, librarians, all educators should use the tools and connections with students appropriately...both digital and otherwise!

  4. Just joined the group, hope we keep up during the year!

  5. Thanks for linking this up...Sounds good..

  6. But I struggle on since I fight for my future and I hope that my children will never fights as I do because, if Americans win no single ruler can force them to fight anymore, to die purposelessly anymore, to get injuries anymore.