Thursday, November 13, 2008

Twingr - Create Your Own Microblogging Community

Twingr is a new service that allows you to create your own microblogging service. Think of it as creating your own private Twitter service. Much like Twitter, messages on Twingr are limited to 140 characters. As with free blogging services, like Blogger, you choose the first part of your Twingr url and it is assigned the Twingr extension. For instance, I set up a Twinger account at freetech4teachers.twingr.com. Twingr could be a useful service for professional learning networks to communicate with without the annoyance of spam followers as is found on Twitter. (Granted, you can remove those spam followers but if you have 400+ followers it is time consuming to sort them out).

Watch the video introduction to Twingr below.


Applications for Education
Microblogging services are easy tools for students to use to create content on the Internet. A service like Twingr, Twitter, or Youth Twitter is a good way for students to share ideas with each other in creation of a larger project. Last December when I began using Twitter I wrote this:
Twitter is a program that allows students to create miniature blogs in a format that most teenagers are familiar with, instant messaging. Twitter limits each entry to 140 characters (about the length of this writing so far) before the entry is saved and made viewable to others. Other Twitter users, "Twits," can then respond to the original twit. This is a great way to get reluctant writers or students who are having trouble getting ideas for creative writing to brainstorm with each other.
Since last December I've shared other ideas for using microblogging services in the classroom or for professional development you read those thoughts here or here.

Twingr could be a great platform for holding online discussions about a news topic or story idea with students. As the creator of a Twingr network you, as the teacher and network administrator, can control who can or cannot see what your students are writing.

If you're still unsure what microblogging is or how to use it, take a few minutes to watch this explanation from Common Craft.