Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Dell Must Hate Us

Ok, so what does the Computer World think of us Ed Techies? Well, here's a clue as to what Dell thinks:
r u kidding? I am freaking out - I totally hav a problem! NYC is my fave!

Maybe that's not representative as to the corporate line... how about this:
either way not as tummy w/o the tequila:)

No, no, that's not it... how about:
showing my hubby how Twitter works, can anyone say hi? TY! :)

I'm sorry, I have to step away for a minute to throw up.

You see, these are not the rambling Tweets of a totally-freaking-out sorority girl wannabe. These are the 'official' public Tweets of the lead representative of Dell Computer's Edu4U program.

Now, I'm all for playful Tweets. There is a time and place for everything. And I'm sure that I've got more than my fair share of comments on the Web that can easily be taken out of context. I'm not a newb. I know how these things work. But, in looking over "Bri's" Tweets today, we're talking about the world's second largest computer-seller portraying Ed Tech teachers and thinkers as the Gossip Girls.

Now, why is this freaky and not just in bad taste?

Because Mark Horan, Vice President and General Manager for Dell’s Public Accounts group in the United States, is on the board of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.

It is absolutely unlikely that the folks involved in Mr. Horan's work on that board would not be aware of the tenor of Dell's Ed Tech flagship site.

This is unacceptable.

If nothing else, it undermines the professionalism of the thousands of educators and ed tech thinkers who actually rely on Twitter and various Web 2.0 sites on a daily basis both for information and as platforms for creative expression and learning in their classes.

We're catching enough hell for trying to use these resources to teach kids. The last thing we need is a fake Ed Techie obscuring what we're trying to do with Valley Girl talk.

As a teacher who has been actively experimenting with Twitter as a learning tool and who has seen Twitter infuse the engagement of students with a fresh spirit, as well as better assessment scores, I find Dell's foray into social networking to be insulting and completely out-of-touch.


  1. Enjoyed your post; picturing next Dell Ad "We'll totally throw in a tequila shot with your new lap top OMG what a deal!"

  2. I’m sorry if some of my tweets have offended you. Thank you for your feedback. I will be taking this into account for future tweets from the Dell Edu4U twitter feed. There are many Dell employees on Twitter and many of us think there is room to introduce some personality into the work we do. Just to be clear, the goal behind all of our education-focused social media efforts like Edu4U.com, the Education blog, Twitter and beyond is to connect with educators, students and school officials to help us be a useful member of the Education community. Mark's role on the board of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills is one part of our broader commitment to serving the education community, including students, teachers, parents, and administrators. In my own role, I am the online community manager for our education blog and work with our education team and industry experts to publicize resources and best practice sharing for teachers via our blog and Edu4U. I look forward to the opportunity to work with you in the future to this end and appreciate the sincerity of your commitment to education and educational technology.

    Bri Brewer, Dell


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