Twitter as a Creative Outlet

7/23/2014 12:00:00 AM

It’s no secret if you follow me on Twitter I don’t take it all that seriously. In case you don’t know what I mean, I created this video I sometimes share with new followers warning them of my intent.

While most educators talk about Twitter as a great place to develop a personal learning network and even as a Professional Development resource, I enjoy the opportunity to be creative. The constraints of 140 characters is fuel for creativity. When you’re sharing a link or resource, the process is pretty straightforward. But when you’re trying to communicate something of more depth or even tell a story, those constraints make you work hard. With any tool, it’s important to understand and appreciate both the limitations but also the affordances. Real time interaction is powerful feature. This is one of the reason chats are so popular.

I like trivia games. A few years back I tried to play a version of “name that tune” on Twitter. I would upload a few clips to a storage site and then post them to Twitter using the #namethattune hashtag. It’s always interesting to see how various people happen to be online and really get into the game. Many of these people are not those I regularly see online but something about this format and activity, resonates with people.

A couple of months ago, I riffed off an idea you see occasionally on Twitter and started a #replacesongtitlewithpants game. This kind of exploding one Sunday evening and Jon Samuelson captured the tweets. For many, this is proof of how stupid Twitter is. For me, it’s proof how much people like to play and connect.

Yesterday John Spencer started his own playful hashtag. #faketvdescription and I played along.

David Jakes @djakes 

@shareski Slow night in Moose Jaw?

Sort of. Being I was on a layover, this was a great way to pass the time and challenge my creative abilities. I pulled up a list of TV shows and looked for titles that might lend themselves to multiple meanings. It was fun just watching others interact and play off each others’ ideas. While I’d hate to refer to this as collaboration, I certainly consider it creative.Here’s one of my favorites:
Liane Loeppky @namesescapeme 

Mad Men:Reality show where wives leave husbands at home with housework, kids, list of chores to be completed in 2 days.

I realize this isn’t for everyone. But technologies that fascinate me are the ones that are used in multiple ways. Being an avid Twitter user, I’m interested in other ways it can be used to foster creativity and play. What have you done or seen on Twitter that encourages creativity?

cross-posted at

Dean Shareski is a Digital Learning Consultant with the Prairie South School Division in Moose Jaw, SK, Canada, specializing in the use of technology in the classroom. He lectures for the University of Regina and is the Community Manager of the Canadian DEN or Discovery Educators Network. Read more at
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