The Twitter Stream 5


It is Work Experience Week at the Twitter Stream and both the Tweet family and the Promoted family have gone to show their tweetlets what work at the Twitter Stream entails.

For the final demonstration a Twitter chat with participants from around the world was organised to illustrate the use of the regular #chats, the advantages of a PLN (Professional Learning Network or Personal Learning Network) and also to show the differing time zones around the world.

The large screen was displaying a map of the world showing Greenwich Mean Time /UTC time and various time zones. Another screen was assigned to the Twitter chat

The chat moderator asked all the participants to introduce themselves and tell where they were located in the world and their local time. Within moments tweets appeared from Angus McTvitter in Scotland, Van Tweet in Holland, U.A.R. Tweeter in the United Arab Emirates, Aussie Tweet in Australia and Tweetin Texan in the U.S.A.
The Moderator’s local time was 12.00 noon and the local times for the participants varied from 13.00 and 15.00 to 18.00 the same day and the Australian at 9.00am the following day.

The Tweetlets were amazed and impressed!

Retweet found inspiration for topics to cover in their NEST Ed Geography studies and also made some interesting new connections she could add to her PLN for sharing information and encouragement.

The Work Experience Week definitely achieved the goal of giving tweetlets an experience of work at the Twitter Stream.

The Twitter Stream 4


It is Work Experience Week at the Twitter Stream and both the Tweet family and the Promoted family have gone to show their tweetlets what work at the Twitter Stream entails.

The Twitter birds are giving demonstrations of the processes used for registering new accounts and enabling Follow/Block/Report for Spam. One demonstration took the form of a skit titled Managing Salacious Bird.

There were cheers and whistles as a blue footed booby wearing fishnet stockings and far too much make up teetered up to a large screen and entered her details. She then created her profile using the Twitter handle @TootsieBoobytweet

A group of Iconic Twitter Birds demonstrated How to Enable the Follow.

Salacious Bird selected several she would like to follow herself and proceeded to send the same website link to each one.

The narrator commented that the link she was sending could be risky to follow and could lead to an unsuitable site and suggested that many would not want to follow @TootsieBoobytweet and would want to Block her.
There was a discussion about cyber safety while the Karate Tweets showed methods for Blocking (and several other moves)

It became clear that @TootsieBoobytweet was sending links to the same unsavoury site to many people.
The narrator commented that @TootsieBoobytweet should be reported for spam and a police consultant showed how to manage a Report for Spam.

As Retweet watched the demonstrations it reinforced for her the importance of teaching the wise use of Twitter, maintaining cyber safety and having good netiquette and manners.

Tweetelle tugged on Retweet’s wingtip. “What does salacious mean?” she asked.

“We’ll talk about it when we get home!” Retweet replied.

The Twitter Stream 3


It is Work Experience Week at the Twitter Stream and both the Tweet family and the Promoted family have gone to show their tweetlets what work at the Twitter Stream entails.

A simulation exercise of a Fail Whale Removal was staged in order to promote interest in the Emergency Services as a career path for tweetlets. Barrow Bird demonstrated how to run out the carry away net. RunRun Bird handed out helium balloons shaped like Emergency Services workers to the tweetlets. Promoted donned an orange hardhat and explained that sometimes when an excessive number of tweets were put into the Twitter Stream a Fail Whale would swim into the stream from the ocean and clog it. When that happened it was the duty of the Emergency Services workers to place carry away nets around the whale and take it back out to the ocean before it became completely beached.

(“Beached az… Bro!” interjected a heckler with a Kiwi accent.)

Tweetil was very excited by the display and said that if he could not be Leader of the Great Migrations he would like to be a Twitter Emergency Services worker.

But Tweetelle’s reaction took almost everyone by surprise.
“Why isn’t anyone looking after the whale?” she asked. She ran to the lemonade stand and grabbed one of the jugs and started to pour water over the Fail Whale.

After the demonstration of the removal of the Fail Whale Tweetelle was still upset.
“Why don’t they fix the entrance to the Twitter Stream so that even if more tweets are put in it will not open the stream to the sea and let the whale in?” she demanded. “And why is the whale being treated as a villain to be removed rather than a victim who has to the rescued?”

Retweet was not surprised at Tweetelle’s emotional reaction or by the very different viewpoint she was expressing. She remembered the quote about the nature of giftedness from Annemarie Roeper which the Psych Owl Ogist had shown her.


“We could talk to a software engineer about it. Maybe we could do some problem solving projects about it in our NEST Ed” Retweet said.

The Twitter Stream 2


It is Work Experience Week at the Twitter Stream and both the Tweet family and the Promoted family have gone to show their tweetlets what work at the Twitter Stream entails.

“We are going to see the latest news about the celebrities” announced Trending, herding her tweetlets towards the part of the Twitter Stream where the ENews hashtag posts were being fed into the stream.

“Well, hop to it, chickees!” said Great Aunt Hashtag “Go and find Justin Tweeber!”

There was a chorus of “WHO?” from Tweetil and Tweetelle.

“How can they not know who Justin Tweeber is?” Great Aunt Hashtag demanded of Retweet. She rummaged in the storage compartment under the seat of her walker and produced a poster. “There! That’s Justin Tweeber. I am sure Trending’s tweetlets would recognise him. What on earth are you teaching these tweetlets in your NEST Ed studies, Retweet?”

Retweet thought to herself that she was very grateful they had decided not to send their tweetlets to the local flock and continued with teaching them at home by NEST Ed.
She fought back the urge to say “We study the dynamics and physics of flight, migration patterns, geography, geology, astronomy and meteorology, navigation, fractals, chaos theory, food preparation, ethics and morals, philosophy, comparative religion, art, music and communication skills”

She contented herself with saying “The tweetlets are too young to learn about the lives of celebrities!”

Best Australian Blogs 2013 No 15: Summing up

The final inspection of Sprite’s Site entry in the Australian Writers’ Centre Best Australian Blogs 2013 competition  seemed to be going well.
P’est Pour Parfait, the Perfectionist Poodle, was satisfied with the series of three posts about storytelling on the blog.

Intellectual Dabrowski had tried to insist on a bibliography of references for the main themes of the blog. But there had been a chorus of “Shut up, Intellectual!”

And arrangements were in place for a Twitter icon with a link to to be placed on the sidebar of the blog. It will be added soon.

However I noticed that a dispute was breaking out between the Origami Secretary Bird and the Pair O’ Noids about placing a Facebook link icon there.
“P’est Pour Parfait said it must be included” said the Origami Secretary Bird.
“Jo’s Facebook page is only for her family and friends” squeaked the Pair O’Noids.


Before a full scale tug of war could begin Imaginational Dabrowski proposed a very sensible compromise.
“Sprite’s Site should have a Facebook Page and the icon link could go to that page” he said.


And that is what happened. Sprite’s Site now has a Facebook page at

We would like it very much if the Sprite’s Site readers would visit and Like the page!

Vote for Sprite’s Site (and as many other great Australian blogs as you like) by clicking on the Vote for Me button in the sidebar of the blog. But you can only vote once: so be sure to make the vote count. Sprite’s Site is on Page 4 O-S.
If you have entered Sprite’s Site by following a link to a specific post you will need to click on the Sprite’s Site header to see the sidebar.

Best Australian Blogs 2013 No 5: Interaction with Twitter



Sprite’s Site has a close connection with the social media Twitter and the iconic Twitter birds.

My Twitter handle is @jofrei

Naturally I use Twitter to receive and share information, to socialise, give and receive encouragement and to announce my blog posts.
I enjoy participating in Twitter chats particularly #gtchat and many of the posts on Sprite’s Site are related to #gtchat


Posts tagged with Twitter can be found at

Posts tagged with gtchat can be found at

Blog posts on Sprite’s Site have been used for #gtchat discussion starters or contributions such as the experiences of the Tweet family at  for introducing the chat session Coping when extended family doesn’t get giftedness
Sprite on the topic of homework for The Homework Dilemma

Sprite’s Site posts are quite often referenced in post chat write-ups on the Global GT Chat Powered by TAGT Blog

Sometimes Sprite’s Site posts are picked up by creators such as

Kim McNeill Gifted kids and Parents

Sonia Dabboussi   Gifted Success  


The Twitter Birds are also characters on Spite’s Site

The Twitter bird images were adapted from birds in a set of free Twitter Bird icons available at
The Twitter birds play an active part in the blog by bringing links of interesting websites and holding their own events such as weddings
going A-MAY-ing
and participating in creating challenges

Twitter Bird Bowers have been set up on Sprite’s Site to house the 100 plus musicians, poets, scientists and pirates
And during the 2012 Olympics Un-Olympics Bowers were also added to Sprite’s Site

We witnessed the wedding of Tweet and Retweet and are now following the story of The Tweet family and their gifted Tweetlets, Tweetil and Tweetelle, and their Great Aunt Hashtag.
The stories have covered subjects such as  parenting, giftedness issues, choosing schools, homeschooling and consultations with the Psych-Owl-Ogist

For the collection of posts relating to the Twitter Birds see


Vote for Sprite’s Site (and as many other great Australian blogs as you like) by clicking on the Vote for Me button in the sidebar of the blog. But you can only vote once: so be sure to make the vote count. Sprite’s Site is on Page 4 O-S.

If you have entered Sprite’s Site by following a link to a specific post you will need to click on the Sprite’s Site header to see the sidebar.

Global GT Chat on Twitter


All the characters at Sprite’s Site love the Global #gtchat sessions on Twitter as much as I do!

#gtchat is a discussion group on Twitter for parents, teachers and gifted advocates from all over the world to share resources, ideas, experiences and new ways of thinking about gifted issues #gtchat was founded by Deborah Mersino of Ingeniosus website

In 2012 Deborah Mersino, passed the moderator baton of #gtchat to the very capable hands of Lisa Conrad. GT Chat is now powered by Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented and all the details can be found on their page at

Transcripts of the #gtchat sessions are now created in Storify  and shared at

Lisa Conrad has also created a blog Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT where she gives an overview of the session including any links and other resources that were shared and announces future session topics and guest experts.
GT Chat also has a Facebook page at!/gtchatmod?fref=ts


Recently #gtchat celebrated the 1 year anniversary of #gtchat being powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented and discussed The Value of Twitter Chats

Twitter provides excellent opportunities for sharing ideas and resources.

In a wonderful, amusing and thought provoking blog entry on Dr Jeff’s Blog on the Universe astrophysicist, Dr Jeff Goldstein, the Center Director for the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, explains why Twitter is so much more than a place for announcing the tuna sandwich you ate for lunch.

Dr Jeff says:
Twitter is a water cooler for the 21st century. At this cooler you can meet fellow human beings from across the planet, and share thoughts about life, our world, and our children—common thoughts that bind us all, regardless of nationality. In an age when as never before humanity faces a perfect storm of global problems, it’s precisely this kind of water cooler you’d like to see, and to frequent.


Socialization 2

The Psych-Owl-Ogist listened intently to Retweet’s concerns about the earworm Tweetil had contracted after the visit of Trending and her tweetlets, Promoted Jnr and Popular.

“It seems to me you have a bigger problem than just an earworm” he said. “You remember when I told you how the higher the IQ was the smaller the percentage of the population it represented;
and that this could make it difficult for Tweetil and Tweetelle to fit in and that it was very likely that they would choose older tweetlets and adult Twitter birds for their friends. The problem they have with socializing with age peers is not related to your decision to continue with NEST Ed!”

“What you need to do is try to find some true peers for the tweetlets. I suggest that you join a parent support group or take some courses at the community centre in the subjects they love. You might also find some like-minds at the library, museum or planetarium.”

“For example” said the Psych-Owl-Ogist “when Owls who are interested in folk music want to meet others like them they go to a hootenanny!”

Often you can find great programs being held during the holidays. Humans can find information about holiday programs suitable for gifted children in the Gifted Resources Extension and Holiday Programs Newsletter.
The Autumn 2013 issue can be read at

Retweet was delighted to find that the Un-Olympics Bower was offering many interesting courses during their holiday program and that many bright eyed tweetlets of all ages had enrolled.




“But what about socialization?” Great Aunt Hashtag had demanded of Retweet “That is the main problem with NEST Ed. Your tweetlets don’t spend any time learning how to get along with tweetlets their own age. No wonder they are so strange!”

“That is not true!” Retweet had replied “They spend time with Twitter birds of all ages.”

But when she thought about it afterwards Retweet had to concede that her tweetlets preferred the company of older Tweetlets and adult Twitter Birds.
She decided to invite her friend Trending whose tweetlets Promoted Jnr and Popular were the same age as Tweetil and Tweetelle to visit.

Retweet had known Trending for a long time but since Trending’s marriage to the entrepreneur Promoted and the arrival of the tweetlets Retweet had lost touch with her.

Retweet found that Trending had not changed very much.
She still kept up a lifestyle of whirlwind social engagements with a very large circle of friends and acquaintances.
She still knew all about popular music and fashion and the lives of celebrities.
Of course she was very proud of her tweetlets
Promoted Jnr was building a powerful social network by attending Fine Feathers as his father had done and Popular was flying with the local flock and gathering quite a flock of followers according to Trending.
Promoted Jnr and Popular had all the latest  gadgets, devices, phone apps, music players and games and prattled on about them non-stop.

Promoted Jnr played one popular nesty rhyme over and over with the volume on the maximum setting. Tweetil listened to it while he bounced on the trampoline but Promoted Jnr did not want to take a turn at bouncing.
Popular did not want to pat Tweetelle’s caterpillar or paint on the easel. Popular was very engrossed in preening but it was a very different style of preening from the Preening 101 course which  Tweetelle had studied and she was not really keen to discuss the details with Tweetelle.

Retweet breathed a sigh of relief when Trending and her tweetlets went home.
Unfortunately the noisy nesty rhyme had lodged itself in Tweetil’s brain and he could not stop singing it.
“You have caught an earworm” Retweet said and contacted the Psych-Owl-Ogist for advice.

“Sometimes I think socializing with age peers is over-rated!” said Retweet.

When extended family don’t get giftedness


This week on Global #gtchat on Twitter powered by Texas Association for Gifted and Talented  we will be discussing “When extended family members don’t get giftedness” and criticize every aspect of parenting gifted children.

Thinking about the topic made me think about the Tweet family’s Great Aunt Hashtag. Great Aunt Hashtag was undermining Tweet and Retweet’s confidence in their parenting by criticizing Retweet’s nest cleaning and food preparation methods and was completely unsympathetic with Tweetelle’s dietary concerns
She did not recognize and value Tweetelle’s art work.

She certainly did not understand the Tweetlets sensitivities and overexcitabilities and accused Retweet of over stimulating them; although she was unwittingly contributing to the stress levels  and causing Tweetelle to have nightmares
She believed that all Tweetlets should be seen and not heard should be treated as they were ‘in HER day’ and kept quiet by filling them with food and singing banal nesty rhymes to them!

She tried to influence family decisions regarding the Tweetlets’ choice of school  and definitely did not approve or support their decision to homeschool using NEST Ed

To Great Aunt Hashtag the Tweetlets seemed so strange that she suggested maybe they were cuckoo chicks which had been put into the Tweet family nest.

We have seen the effects of Great Aunt Hashtag’s interference but we have not really seen any suggestions for deflecting it or coping with it.
Tweet and Retweet are sure to find some helpful suggestions during the Twitter  #gtchat session.

Gtchat provides an outlet for the gifted community to network and discuss relevant topics each week. During the 24 hour interval including a recent week’s chat, over 100 participants posted tweets from 25 states in the U.S. and from 12 countries. See

To read summaries and transcripts of past  #gtchat sessions see the Global #gtchat blog at
and to continue the discussions on Facebook see!/gtchatmod?fref=ts