Twitter – a great search engine!

As I missed this week’s eT@lking online session in elluminate, I caught up with the recording yesterday. The title of the session was “eLearning Innovations for VET in Victoria including twitter”

Howard Errey, one of the presenters, discussed an innovative use of twitter – one that is so obvious that I had actually overlooked it. Here is a short excerpt of what he said:-

Use twitter as a search engine. Instead of getting information from eg google  you get people, when searching for a topic on twitter. People who are interested in talking about a topic at a certain time.

Can find out very interesting and sometimes specific information that is better than a google search. In some particiular circumstances there are commentators or companies who would be worth following. eg If I had a sport and recreational student interested in a cycling career, I would encourage them to follow eg bike companies, broadcasters who are broadcasting “Tour de France” )and Lance Armstrong ( @tourdefrance09) who is a good user of twitter. The student would then know lots about the field that they want to move into.

Now, I am a great fan and user of twitter and have use it in class before for research, problem solving and sharing resources, but not quite like this. This got me thinking about accounting, a subject that I teach. It is often dry, monotonous, textbook and exercises driven. As our next topic is “accounting for stock”, I decided to use the search feature on twitter (without even logging on) and search for stocktake. Here are some of the gems that I discovered at such an opportune time when businesses are actually stocktaking.

  • mrsjollyred Have given up on wool stocktake glitch, just going to have to over-estimate with missing colour. Quite irritating.
  • thehifitrader Stocktake is on! Please come in and buy stuff so we don’t have to count it. We have specials in the store to make things easier.
  • shrimp_features we closed the store to do stocktake, had a huge sign saying so, still so many people trying to break the door down & giving us foul looks!
  • euroactuary Off for annual stocktake on Solvency II on the day bank stress test results will be published. Concerns: complexity, procyclicality.
  • jransom stocktake done – now the valuation of said stock😦
  • thespottynapkin RT @tipsytoesshoes: Its stocktake and moving time at the Tipy Toes warehouse. Become a FB fan and get 20% off all orders-we would rather…
  • tipsytoesshoes Its stocktake and moving time at the Tipy Toes warehouse. Become a FB fan and get 20% off all orders-we would rather sell it than move it!
  • sharpytheking Perpetual Stocktake#bored.com
  • jeicher stocktake is complete. #relief 11:56 PM Jul 22nd via mbpidgin
  • RossGoesRawrr @shan1209 I’m lucky I’m out the back doing stocktake all night🙂 noone has to see it lol
  • restructuregirl @malbooth @polyxena stocktake would help my students hugely. Haven’t done a s’take in 10 years & serious mismatch bw shelves & catalogue

This is now going to be introduction to the topic. When students will look at the comments, there will be a lot of discussion points that will come from this rich material. When I have set up my lesson plan I shall share it. Love this use of twitter and will use it for many more topics. Have you used twitter as a search engine? What did you do? Any comments on the outcomes?

4 responses to “Twitter – a great search engine!

  1. Have you seen the site: http://www.crowdeye.com

    It is a beta search engine for twitter.

  2. Thanks for taking the idea a step further with a wonderful example.

  3. That is an amazing idea ! I’ve used Tweetdeck to have students set up a permanent search column for earthquakes when I taught geography, but I think your point is well taken about it’s value as a search engine. Using tweets as a hook is a fascinating idea. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Hi Anne
    Very good idea, should place it within my blog as a link….

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