Harvey Dent, aka Two-Face, the man with originally good intentions as the crime fighting District Attorney of Batman’s Gotham City, turned into a crazed loon after being attacked, and like all good supporting-heroes-gone- bad, he begins to destroy the very things he set out to protect.
Somehow this reminds me of Twitter, or to be more precise, Educational Twitter. If the virtual world of the Internet could be shown as a map, the land of Twitter would be accompanied by the warning ‘Here be Giants’ . For Twitter is full of Giants, educational and otherwise. It is the land where the big people rub Capitals Letters with the little people. Unlike other social media sites, the communication can be one way, no need for Add Friend. You can keep talking without listening. This can generate a key element of the dialogue – a belief that your opinion is important, needed and should be SHOUTED until people hear you. That’s a good thing right? We have fought and defended our freedom of speech. However, just as in Animal Farm, some voices are more important than others and in the land of Twitter, Here be the Giants.
Educational Twitter is no different to any society. There are leaders, sycophants, labourers and naughty children who keep putting their heads above the parapet, only to have them swiftly smacked down by the grown-ups, their ‘Noses pressed up against the glass’ of others conversations and exchanges (Tatamkhula Afrika, Nothings Changed).
The dominant voices of educational Twitter favour a preferred style of discourse..sound familiar? A discourse in which personal opinion can be twisted, ridiculed or worse still, marginalised.
I have been a passionate Twitter account user, both in this account and in my subject account. I have gathered some phenomenal resources in the past 2 years, made some fantastic connections and been able to network and help other Subject departments. And then there is the other side of Two-Face, where I have seen people almost bullied, exposed and self-destruct through their temporary forgetfulness at the public nature of this arena. And these are just the Teachers….
I, for one, hope that that footprint I leave on the strange double-sided land of Twitter, is positive, supportive, builds and fixes. The Old School Harvey Dent Gang will suit me just fine.