Had a wonderful conversation this morning with a longtime colleague and educator. Among other topics, we chatted about the access to knowledge and learning available via twitter. He described a very normal reaction from some. “It’s overwhelming! So much information! How do you keep track of it all?!”
I don’t even try to keep track of it all.
I described my twitter feed, using TweetDeck, where I am following 3187 people, as a ‘slot machine, constantly spinning’, as those 3187 people add ideas, thoughts, questions, etc. to the twittersphere. Then I figured out, in our conversation, that I had a much better description for all that information.
It’s better described as a ‘learning stream.’ It’s always flowing. I can stand on the bank, at my leisure, and watch it go by. I can reach in and pull out an idea when I see one floating by that captures my interest. I don’t try to scroll the stream back to see what I missed. I figure if it’s a good idea, concept, question, it will float by again. I can walk away from the bank and visit a school, a colleague, or a group of students. The stream keeps flowing while I’m gone. That’s ok. My visits might give me an idea, concept, or question to throw out into the stream for somebody else to pull out.
Don’t sweat following lots more people than follow you. I think that’s the right ratio. Listen more than you talk. But don’t be afraid to share. You never know who’s waiting just downstream for you to throw something great into the water.