Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Parents consider the value of Twitter during the presidential #debates

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Editor's note: Social media has changed how many innovative educators have watched important current events such as the presidential debates. What about their parents?


Guest post by Jennifer Bond @teambond

As I watched the Presidential Debate at my parent’s house with my iPad as a companion I opened up TweetCaster and started reading the tweets from my personal learning network (PLN) as well as from those tweeting with the hashtag #debate.  

As the debate began I shared some Tweets with my parents who acknowledged them but didn’t really say much.  As the debate progressed I shared some more tweets. My mom seemed intrigued and took my iPad.  She read through the feed and was excited to find a commonality with my Tweeps sharing, “I said that same thing a couple minutes ago!”  “Yes mom,” I replied. “Twitter allows you to validate your thoughts.”

Her interest piqued, she started asking me questions.  I gave her the general tour and started with something close to home, my younger sister’s tweets.  

As we continued watching there were many tweets we found interesting as well as those not appropriate that were trending on #debate. We discussed the value of the ability of people to freely share their thoughts on social media as well as how that should be balanced with a level of civility and respect.  That led us to discuss the importance of digital identity.  

As the final debate came upon us, I asked my mom what she thought about following Tweets during the debate.  She responded, “I think you should pay attention to the debate and not twitter.”  “But,” I reminded her, “we are paying attention to both.”  She said, “That’s how you do kids do it now, but it is not for me.  I am old-fashioned that way.”  

So, as much as my mom was curious and was able to experience a different twist to watching the debates, as of now she says the twitter interaction is not her thing.  Perhaps I need to bring my iPad more often and expose her to the interactions that take place, whether it be for a debate, a sport’s game, or even a favorite sitcom.  

I did see a speck of curiosity, which is where it all begins.  Who knows…maybe I can make a Tweeter out of her someday!

Jennifer Bond is a 3rd grade teacher, innovative teaching and learning cheerleader, and advocate for teaching to and from the heart! She regularly presents at tech conferences around Michigan, and will be one of the teachers in the upcoming educational documentary, Look I'm Learning, which will focus on technology in elementary classrooms. http://edtechcheerleader.com
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