diversity and inclusion, instructional design

A Quick Experiment in Twitter Trends

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been keeping an eye on which posts from my Twitter feed were getting the most attention — or, as the Twitterphiles out there would say, trending.

Given my Twitter network is a strange-but-wonderful amalgam of educators, historians, instructional designers, and fiction writers, the resulting tweet trends were as varied as they were delightful.

Here are the three “trendiest” tweets of the experiment:

#1: Representation Matters


One of my core interests is diversity & inclusion, something going back to my early LiveJournal social networking days. This subject has a robust online community, and it seems every week there’s another post that makes me pause and go “huh, why hadn’t that occurred to me before?”

This is one of those “huh” posts — and the long line of comments it propogated are equally fascinating food for thought. It’s also worth noting that while the original Tweet was posted Feb. 27, people are still discussing it two weeks later!

#2: Ethical Technology

The next most discussed post is from a professor of informational technology at CU Boulder. In that special social media tradition, the original Tweet is a retweet to a retweet:



Discussion continues long after this screenshot cuts off.

I believe the popularity of this tweet can be attributed to the rising concerns around ethics and technology. The people who responded came from a wide range of backgrounds — but all expressed concern and uncertainty about how much, exactly, one should consider the social consequences of one’s work.

Is all responsibility on your shoulders? None? How can someone make sure they’re thinking through the consequences and ethics effectively?

The questions and debate within this Twitter thread are representative of the many questions rising from this moment in time in technology — and equally applicable to the technologies we use here in instructional design.

#3: A Reason to Write


Finally there’s this gem, ending the experiment with a reminder that sweet things can trend too.


Further Reading: Twitter in Education

Buzzelli, A., Holdan, E. G., Rota, D., & McCarthy, J. (2016). Utilizing Twitter for Concept Learning. International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Education (IJICTE), 12(1), 64-76. doi:10.4018/IJICTE.2016010106

Veletsianos, G. (2012), Higher education scholars’ participation and practices on Twitter. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 28, 336–349. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2729.2011.00449.x

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s