cc licensed flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

My mom is visiting me for the next 2 weeks. This morning, she said, “Can you explain this ‘twitter’ thing to me over lunch?’.

I could not resist rushing out to tweet it ;-)


which got some interesting responses, including one from Dean Shareski, who asked me to record the conversation.

So at lunch time, I sent out a repeat request, and first sat Mom down at the computer to watch the Common Craft Twitter in Plain English video

cc licensed flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

and then turned on the recorder to capture our conversation (it was great because tweets were coming in as we were talking)


Here’s what twitter can accumulate for the related tweets:

Here is our conversation

Telling Mom About Twitter (15.8 Mb mp3)

The post "Twitter in Mom English" was originally zapped with 10,000 volts and declared "It's ALIVE" by Dr. Frankenstein at CogDogBlog ( on November 24, 2009.


  • Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rangerdavie: Alan teaches his 80 year old mom all about twitter (Audio included):

  • Julia Leong

    Love love this precious post and recording. I want to talk to your mom now. I’d ask her what were you like as a kid

    • Alan Levine aka CogDog

      @Julia- thanks, my Mome was very touched by all the feedback and comments.

      I can tell you a a kid I was a smart ass brat, perfect training to be a blogger.

      Mom would likely say I was some sort of perfect angel (they tend to gloss over things) and she is still coming to grips with my admission that as teens me and my friends drained all the liquor bottles in the cabinet.

  • Out of all the introductions to Twitter one can find on the web, this is going to be my new favourite!

    Thank you so much for sharing your conversation.

  • Claudia Ceraso

    Two things:
    a- She’s got the sweetest voice.
    b- She gets it.

    OK, third. When you say, “like a friend I haven’t met”… exactly my thoughts.

  • Harriet

    Great picture! I didn’t hear the recording (too big to download.) Are you going to quiz her later;-)

  • Susan WB

    This is so sweet! I think I’m going to send it to my Mom (who’s in her 60’s).

  • Anne Davis

    This post is one of my all time favorites. I can tell your mom is a”life long learner”! She asked terrific questions. Tell her if she doesn’t want to twitter she should consider blogging. We need voices like hers in the mix.

    I wish I were in the classroom still so I could share this with the students – they could come up with some other ways to share the teaching and the learning, like you both did. Thanks for the continued learning Alan. It is inspiring. Plus, you make it so much fun! Hmmmm, any school people out there thinking of ways to apply this in the classrooms?

  • Tracy Roberts

    thanks for sharing this – there is so *much* wonderful about it. I second all that’s been said and will add 2 thoughts:

    1. Your mom could become an internet sensation if she *did* decide to tweet!

    2. thanks for sharing/modelling being “open” in this way. one thing that comes up for me lots as I participate in cck09 and am confronted with the issue of open in all my professional worlds is what ought to be open (everything? just finished stuff that people might want to pick up and use like courses/lesson plans, papers, etc? what about acts of teaching? messy processes?). here you give us a nice example of open teaching. kudos to your buddy who suggested you record it!

  • she gets it! & you were very patient & sweet while teaching twitter to her. wish & pray that our baby maia will be as patient & sweet to me & hubby, @qpidx, when we’re that age.

    does your mom now have a twitter account? if so, i would follow her! by the way, i’m now following you :)

    thanks for also sharing the common craft video. i’ll make sure to bookmark it for the next time my folks ask about twitter.

    more power!

  • Elly Sookdhis

    I think this is just so delicious….

    My Indonesian Chinese Mom who lives in Singapore peeps into my niece’s facebook daily to check my status (I live in Thailand). She will either call or SMS me. FYI, mom is 78 years old.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

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