Twitter: An evaluation

Amazing Web 2.0 ProjectsBack in August 2007 I wrote the following article about Twitter:

When Twitter first appeared on the scene, I thought it sounded like a complete waste of time.

But as more and people I respect started singing its praises, I thought I ought to give it a whirl.

That was a couple of months ago, and here are my conclusions.

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25 ways to make yourself unpopular: #6 Manage, but don’t lead

calendarThere’s a reason that the strapline of this website is “The site for leaders and managers of educational ICT”: leading and managing are different things. That isn’t to say that someone cannot be both a good leader and a good manager, but they may have to work a little harder on one aspect than on the other.
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25 ways to make yourself unpopular: #5 Lead, but don’t manage

If there is one thing which is guaranteed to annoy me it’s the lack of attention to detail that some so-called “leaders” display. Actually, it’s more than that. You could rightly argue that leadership is about inspiring people with a vision, and so there shouldn’t be any need for leaders to get bogged down in the minutia of how something's going to work in practice.

OK, I accept that. But

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Christmas Greetings

I’d just like to wish readers of this blog and the Computers in Classrooms newsletter a happy and peaceful break over the next couple of weeks.

This is not (hopefully) the last post this side of the new year, but I wanted to make sure I caught people before they all disappeared! I still intend to write for this blog, as well as Writers’ Know-how and Technology & Learning. In fact, the weather is such (worst winter since 1962 apparently) that I may have no other choice: it’s hard to get out and do shopping and stuff in this weather. (I’m heartbroken).

But my most pressing piece of writing right now is my e-Christmas cards!

Time to grow up?

Here’s a thought. I like to think of myself as a glass half full type of person. So why all the doom and gloom about the apparent lack of Governmental support, in the UK, for technology in the classroom?

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25 ways to make yourself unpopular: #4 Provide too much information

information.jpgToo much information is such a ubiquitous problem that it even has its own three letter abbreviation: TMI – although that is usually applied in the context of someone online telling you something that you really didn’t want to know. However, it’s also a problem experienced by anyone who runs a team, or who requires information in order to take a decision.

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25 ways to make yourself unpopular: #3 Provide too little information

If you really want to make yourself unpopular, then not providing enough information is a sure-fire way of going about it. Whether you’re a teacher, say, advising your Principal, or a consultant advising your client, you need to provide sufficient information – whether you’ve been asked for it or not.
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Join the discussion!

This evening, for the last time this term, Drew Buddie and I will be discussing matters ICT, from 7pm till 8pm, UK time (though as always we will leave the room open until 9pm). We will see what comes up, but one thing we may be chatting about is why I’ve decided to exclude links to Wikipedia in my articles, as far as I can, for now. Also, why I think it’s a good idea to close down the ICT facilities for the last week or so of term.
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25 ways to make yourself unpopular: #2 Provide timely information

informationYou would think that providing timely information would be just the thing to get you applauded. However, as the song from Porgy and Bess tells us, it ain’t necessarily so. It really all depends on what the information is, and to whom you’re making it available.

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Is this the newspaper I’ve been looking for?

A short while ago I expressed the view that paper.li, the Twitter-based newspaper, was no longer for me. I don’t like the lack of control over what is published, and it started to look a lot like spam. I experimented with a couple of other similar services, and they did nothing much for me.

But Microsoft's Montage looks promising. Although you still don’t have control over what appears in particular streams, you do  have a say in what types of stream are featured, and (to an extent), the layout.

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The sledgehammer as a tool for innovation?

Can the sledgehammer, an instrument usually associated with destruction, be enlisted as a tool of innovation? Educational Technology consultant Doug Woods puts forward a case for this unlikely-sounding approach. His position is that a good use for the sledgehammer would be to break up all the ICT suites (computer labs) that can be found in schools.
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25 ways to make yourself unpopular: #1 Don’t do as you’re told

Would anyone want to make themselves unpopular? I doubt it. But there are times when one has to choose between what is going to give them a quiet life, and what they feel is right. Obviously, though, you have to choose your battles. In this series I thought I’d explore the sorts of thing which some educational technology leaders or school leaders might not like.
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Prize Draw

In the very near future (read on) I will be running prize draws for the following: * MissionMaker. * Xobni Plus. * Global Conflicts subscription. * Scholastic’s Child Education Resource Bank subscription (UK residents only). * PIMS reporting software subscription.
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Progress report on the writing website

A little while ago I reported in Computers in Classrooms and here that I had started a new blog. Called “Writers’ Know-How”, its mission, if I may use so strong a word, is to make technology for writers more accessible. Clearly, the term “writers” includes bloggers of all descriptions, and the focus on technology will have relevance to teachers too.
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