Twitter can improve interdisciplinary studies.
In 2012 I set up a Twitter account. Before then, the hash tags and environment appeared daunting and discouraging. What did hash tags signify? How did topics trend? What did people use Twitter for? How could I use it to advance my career and learn?
I took a few free seminars online to learn the Twitter basics. Melinda Emerson’s Seminar is highly recommended. Emerson, “SmallBizLady,” blogs for the New York Times and provides a one-hour seminar that will teach you the basics of Twitter and quickly set you on course for Twitter success.
Emerson recommends around three months of Twitter observation before diving in and tweeting on your own. She prescribes learning the Twitter environment, customs, and trends. She also recommends tweeting regularly around three times per day, and she provides a formula that helped her develop a Twitter following.
After observing Twitter I started following several trends and was exposed to conversations and people that were exciting and educational. While Twitter can be used for gossip, I have been able to gain exposure to trends in education that have helped my research, writing, and knowledge.
In my experience, a critical step to becoming a great student, teacher and scholar is understanding the interdisciplinary nature of many subjects. Twitter helps scholars gain personal access to conversations by scholars in other fields. For example, I observed conversations by preeminent scholars in astronomy and education. Most recently I have been inspired by a trending topic in education: #hiphoped.
What’s cool about hash tags, is they are often moderated conversations that immediately list well-respected scholars in that field. You can see their comments, links and ideas. #hiphoped led me to several Ted talks that changed by mind about current trends in education. These young teachers were excited, passionate, and creative about new solutions for improving education and exciting young people about education. They reminded me of how I felt as a young student and undergrad. Check out #hiphoped and the Ted talk links on Twitter.
This new blog column, Twitter Trends, will be posted regularly when I observe new, exciting trends on Twitter that can benefit interdisciplinary studies.