Friday, December 27, 2013

Changing Voices

I've been pretty purposefully using social media - Twitter in particular - for two years now. I know that as I have become more comfortable with Twitter my voice on Twitter has changed.

I started Twitter as a lurker. A hardcore lurker. I slowly began to participate in hashtag chats - I cut my Twitter teeth with the awesome folks in the #flipclass chat. I started to contribute to discussions around that hashtag during the week.

As my confidence increased, I started to use my Twitter superpower: I've got a pretty solid list of who does what in my head. If you've got a question, I probably don't have an answer. But I probably do have a couple of people that will have an answer. Or the beginning of an answer. I went from being a lurker to a connector.

Now? I'm not sure how or what my voice has evolved to. I still talk to a lot of people on Twitter. I connect people and ideas when I can. I share a lot more of what my kids are doing - both on Twitter and on my blog - than I used to. That's a change.

As I've become more cognizant of my voice and how it has changed, I have also seen the voices of others change. I've seen most educators I follow get more comfortable with the medium. Some share more aggressively. Others go through bursts of intense interaction then more quiet periods.

Others have made other changes in their voice on Twitter. Whether consciously or not it's been fascinating to watch the shrillness of some voices go up. It's been interesting to watch people interact less and talk at people more. To become very sure of their correctness - of their approach, of their pedagogy. Of the fact that they are right.

I sincerely hope I don't come off this way on Twitter. I have opinions - some of them strong - that I'll share. But I hope that my voice hasn't become something that needs to be managed. Or muted. Or that my voice has become so sure of itself that I don't ever express doubt. Or share my myriad of failures and learnings in my classroom.

Because I feel that happening to people in my PLN. Tones have changed. Reflection seems to have gone down. Shrillness - and absolute certainty of rightness - has gone up.

Are we all still reflecting? Sharing? LEARNING? Because if you know you're right all the time, are you really learning? Are you really reflecting? Is your voice as valuable - and vulnerable - as it needs to be?