Earthquakes, Twitter and Information

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On August 23, 2011, a rare earthquake struck the East Coast.  I was listening to a news story, not just about the event, but how Twitter and Facebook played such a major role in getting out the news.  Social media was immediate.  One of the CBS reporters said, “Tweets moved faster than seismic waves.”

Phone networks were jammed but the Internet still worked.  Homeland Security sent out a tweet – “Quake: Tell friends/family you are OK via text, email and social media (@twitter and Avoid calls.”!/DHSJournal/status/106076003671097344

Twitter worked at the time of the quake, not just because phone lines were down, but because it was immediate and it told the story from many individual points of view.  Regular media was slower in responding because of the time it takes to “fact-check.”

At the time of the quake, a Google search for news stories on the event did not yield many results.

We live in a different world today!  The immediacy of social media can be an important component of our students’ learning and moving resources to their digital devices is one of our goals.  We understand that Twitter and Social Media are a part of the landscape, but we also understand that fact-checked information is another important piece.  It is a balance.

On September 13, a search in Google for “august 23 earthquake va” brings up “about 5,110,000 results (in 0.24 seconds).”

There is information of value in some of the Google results, as there is in the Social Media story, but we can’t lose that connection to checking facts.  Students check facts digitally today.  GPAEA Media is making a transition this year to bringing that quality information to students in a digital format.  They can read nonfiction eBooks on their computer, laptop, iPad or Smartphone.  No eReaders are required.  The resources also provide multi-user, simultaneous access.

eResources at GPAEA exist and will help you teach and students learn.

We have added over 400 eBook titles to our GPAEA Media catalog, four of which have quality, accurate information on earthquakes, including these facts:

  • More than 150,000 earthquakes are recorded around the world, each year.
  • Most research on predicting earthquakes is based on the “Dilatancy Theory” and what does that mean?

If you would like more information about our eBook collection, please check out

Login to SNAP with your teacher UN/PW.  Students login with their Iowa AEA Online Un/PW:

Coming soon from GPAEA Media – PowerKids Life Science for grades 3-6!

Kristin Steingreaber, Media Specialist
800-622-0027 ext. 5265

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