For the past few months, my technology class has taught me a lot of things, but there is one overlapping subject: developing the ability to break out of our little third-culture kid bubble that may have grown around us after years of living in different countries. We’ve taken this lesson a step further by trying to do this using social media. Specifically, we set up Twitter accounts to be able to follow various “experts” based on our topic of research (we’re actually having a second Genius Hour; see my other post “My Super Awesome Genius Hour” to understand what I’m talking about) and we get to ask these experts questions.
My area of research has to do with comparing two phone companies that everyone loves: Apple and Android. In other words that means my experts were all computer developers or programmers of some kind. In total I followed ten experts listed below: @OlteenRazvan, @tim_cook, @dotbugfix, @AtdheMahmuti, @namklabs, @MarlonMolina, @nathanmarz, @satyanadella, @pschiller, and @Danenania. I basically asked each one of them if they preferred Android and Apple or, if experts like @tim_cook made it clear whose side he’s on, I would ask them why they chose what they chose. I decided to ask this specific question because I was doing the research part; I didn’t need anymore information other than the pieces I’d already found. I decided that if I could, I would try and get their views on Apple and Android. In my Genius Hour project, it was just a general answer to my research question that did not require research or numbers.
Now… the best part. How did they respond? Well, before we could ask them our questions, we created a “relationship” with our experts by tweeting or commenting on something else related to them. For that part, I got very positive reviews. By that, I mean I’ve gotten a few likes and retweets while a few also responded to me! Sadly, when it came to answering the question I asked them, only @MarlonMolina responded. I don’t blame the others though; I think I asked some of my questions too late. At the same time, I’m surprised he answered because he was one of the people who I asked very late. Then again, he is more active on Twitter than some of my other experts, so I think that plays a part in why he even responded in the first place. Anyways, none of them followed or helped me any further. I haven’t continued a conversation with any of them, though I may go back and do that later.
Despite a rather low amount of responses, I’m not too disappointed with the result. Sure, if I had done things a little differently throughout this journey, I would have probably been more successful. At the same time, I’m glad that someone answered; whether it was one answer to my question or simply liking one of my tweets. It makes me feel good just knowing that I was noticed by people that don’t live in my little bubble. I generally get very excited whenever I see someone like, retweet, or comment on one of my tweets. To see not one, but ten different people like my tweets and occasionally reply to them had me over the moon. I really hope I can be able to use this unusual source for school some other time because I feel like if I do things differently next time, getting information directly from a source will help me in the long run. Of course, if we do another Genius Hour there is a chance I’ll end up using Twitter again. I’m not really sure what other classes I could use Twitter for, though I think I’m more likely to use Twitter for Language Arts, Music, or Science. Overall, I’m still glad I got to do this because I think this activity has taught me that I should not be afraid to contact people that I think will help me, no matter how far away they are.