History in 140 Characters
Although I'm a member of the online outreach team at the museum, over the last few months I've given a number of in-person workshops for teachers, in which I mention the museum's Twitter feed for educators, @explorehistory. Given the number of educators I see on Twitter, and the growing emphasis on developing a Personal or Professional Learning Network that I've noticed at conferences, I was surprised to find that only about 10% of any teacher group I meet in person is active on Twitter, though many are on Facebook (although this statistic is in line with a recent study on Twitter use conducted by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project).
When I discuss Twitter in workshops, responses range from "I just don't have time for that -- it's enough to keep up with email and Facebook" to "you just can't have a conversation on Twitter." And I understand. I wasn't always so fond of Twitter. I wondered how I would ever say anything useful in 140 characters. As history educators, many of the teachers I met found the shortened communication of Twitter unsatisfying. If the soul of our work is to help students evaluate information and discuss and debate it, how could Twitter help? At least on Facebook you can have a conversation. Right?