This morning's Twitter journey began with a post by @unklar (aka Mark Dunk, an educator from Houston) who tweeted, "@Astro_127 I was nominated to be in mission control for your flight! I'm hoping to hear something soon (hopeful that I'm "approved")" and also, "@Astro_Mike good luck! fix that hubble space telescope for all of us!"
Clicking on "Astro_127" in @unklar's update took me to the Twitter page of Mark Polansky, an astronaut who joined Twitter on May 7th. As of today, Mark has 2,200 followers. Mark shares some good advice on his Twitter stream, "You're never too old to study and learn."
Astro_Mike is astronaut Mike Massimino, a mission specialist for STS-125: Final Shuttle Mission to Hubble Space Telescope. Mike has been tweeting since the beginning of April and has 199,447 followers!
Although these astronauts have many followers, Polansky only follows NASA, and Massimino follows NASA and one other Twitterer. I appreciate the information being shared, and hope that they will join the conversations that are being "@"-ed their way!
Clicking through to the NASA Twitter stream, I learned:
"Countdown sign along the road shows two days until the launch of Discovery! http://tinyurl.com/phmavn" <-- this links to the Flickr page of NASA HQ -- currently 265 images posted from NASA.
I'm not sure what @unklar's tweet about being in mission control was all about, but it started me on a journey that led to the discovery of some great resources from the U.S. Space program. I think it would be exciting to tune in from your classroom and get the latest updates directly from the people involved in these missions! This is an example of how Twitter can be used for education... and if it's blocked in your school, your children are missing out.
Yes, there has been a lot of press lately about Twitter: "It's a waste of time... Who cares what I am doing?" For those who have been "Tweeting" for some time, we appreciate the value of Twitter. We love the connections that Twitter provides into the "happenings" of those we follow -- our chosen "network" of friends and associates (who often become our friends). It's so much more than "what are you doing?" In Twitterverse we "tune into" to the thoughts, ideas, discoveries, successes, disappointments and failures posted by our colleagues -- and we share in kind. We stumble onto websites, learn of new books, review movies and TV shows (sometimes during the broadcasts), find deals to be had and contests to enter. We congratulate one another, offer hugs, encouragement, and ask questions -- our Twitter network is our lifeline. It's something you have to experience, to really "get it."