Disrespectful and Time-Wasting, or Engaged and Transformative? The Mile-High Twitter Debate

This post is “loosely based” (as they say in films) on a series of my tweets (@malbooth) from the Twitter Debate session at Educause09. I’ve cleaned up and explained a few tweets in the interests of your sanity.

(#edTwitter is the hash tag for the Twitter debate at #educause09)

  • RT @jeremyindenver Standing room only at the Mile High Twitter debate (yes, the room was packed and people were standing up lining all walls)
  • Mostly academic theatre so far.
  • Noise, safety, security, content, distractions, spam, reality?
  • Or passion, diversity, helpful, connections, real time?
  • Check this video out — The Twitter Experiment – UT Dallas http://bit.ly/YlBZt
  • CIOs as orange cones over potholes?
  • A reference to Harvard now. The school that gave us those that gave us the GFC [sorry, that was unfair: I put it onto the jet lag]
  • Is it about experimentation, innovation, making mistakes, exploring?
  • “Messy creativity that leads to engagement” (I liked that)
  • Do ground rules inhibit exploration & experimentation?
  • Google on innovation. Comes when reflecting, not on schedule in a divisional structure. Self-organise in shared-value culture.
  • Clay Shirky now: changing the world via social networks (from his recent talk at US State Dept)
  • How to make best use of the media even though it means changing our ways (Shirky)
  • Who cares what a CIO thinks about Twitter anyway?
  • [I then noticed that:] #educause09 [was] now a trending topic – imagine what we could achieve if we really collaborated
  • Twitter offers transparency, but [there are] some costs – uni reputation needs to be considered. Voices or consistency?
  • Dialogue is important. can practices be integrated? Is it a distraction?
  • Has tweeting become competitive in this debate? [This tweet attracted a response: “@kaiyen @malbooth no, unless you tweet faster than I do”]
  • [I think it is] too early for best practice & benchmarking: read some blogs, but not [the] usual suspects: see practitioners
  • Immersion is important! Follow @RWW, @mashable
  • [The someone mentioned:] FRBR (groans) [actually I heard FRBR being a librarian, but maybe they said FERPA?]
  • “Twitter is a basic information literacy skill” & [it is not] not in a walled garden
  • “What better evidence of your engagement in learning than results when your name is Googled”: be a citizen of open web
  • “Please don’t tell us what we can’t do: help us, guide us”
  • Someone raised the importance of the back-channel as a toll for LISTENING!
  • Back-channel can be transformative, scary, invaluable and great guidance
  • Does or should twitter emulate real life communications? Trust users to do what is right with it as a tool
  • Can lead to moments of authentic connection!
  • We will all make mistakes and need to be tolerant of each other
  • Many different ways to use it appropriately – make a judgment
  • Important to be able to use all forms of media for communications!
  • Thanks for this session – it made me think

This was a very lively, active and well-presented session. My thanks to the two presenters: W. Gardner Campbell, Director of the Academy of Teaching and Learning and an Associate Professor of Literature and Media from Baylor University (who played the radical academic) & Bruce Maas who played (and is) the CIO of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (all universities should be so lucky).


  1. Bruce

    I think you did a great job of capturing the spirit of our "debate". The goal was to engage the audience and get some dialogue going about a pretty important topic; social networking and teaching and learning. Thanks for making some serious time to post this. Regards, Bruce maas uwm_cio.

  2. Bruce

    This was a really helpful and valuable post of our twitter "debate". Our goal was to engage our audience in person, and remotely, into dialogue about the use of twitter and other social media for teaching and learning. Your post was a real service to the community that is interested in this dialogue. Thanks so much. Bruce, uwm_cio.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s