Non-Digital Twitter

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I find starting without technology is one of the best mechanisms for not only understanding but embracing the digital. Of late, my focus is on doing exactly that with social media,  Twitter with administrators in particular.

It is easy to show examples of administrators on Twitter. It is even easier to  say “everyone should be on Twitter”. However, it is much more challenging to influence change.


There are many reasons why administrators don’t use Twitter and many make sense. Here are the top three reasons I’ve found outside of fear:

  1. Time: when would I do this?
  2. Value: what benefit does this bring the school?
  3. Content: what would I say?

Analog Time

While we can all answer the above and show examples, the reality is that human nature is based upon experiencing it not being told it. This is where the analog modes comes into play.

Give the following non-digital Twitter sheet to a fellow administrator and asked them to capture the story of the school throughout the week.




  1. Print and fold the sheet so that is can fit easily inside a suit coat, breast pocket, or pocket
  2. Hand the folded sheet to a fellow administrator and ask them to capture moments that tell our story
  3. Pick-up the sheet at the end of the week and engage them in the discussion about the three aforementioned issues
  4. Time: how much time did it take to capture these? were you able to do it as part of your daily process instead of creating another “To-Do” item? what would make it less time-consuming?
  5. Value:  are these items you captured important for others to see? who needs to see these items that you captured?
  6. Content:  how difficult was it to find things to tell our story?

My experience so far has removed the obstacles of each one of the above. They see that it takes no extra time, there is value, and content is easier than they thought. In fact, the content and time one go away quite quickly with this method. This leads to explaining they basically spent their week tweeting and they are ready to go digital!

Don’t get me wrong. Additional questions and needs emerged. However, the three roadblocks blocking progress are removed!


  1. Christine Tomasino11-20-2013

    Ryan-I just love your practical approach to this! Transforming from annotating our “collective messages” via analog tools to digital tools will reach so many more and start to launch new “creations” in school districts such as Glenbrook. Kudos!

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