Part of the question from many has been, "What's the use of Twitter? Why do I care what's going on every single minute of your life?"
Professionals and educators alike have ways of making every trending tool into something extremely useful. Twitter has essentially created an education highway. Twitter users are tweeting articles, news, tutorials, resources, and ideas amongst a host of other useful information. Tweets have evolved from, "Sitting outside taking in the sun" to "Perseid Meteor Shower lights up August skies later this week. Ask your Q's about meteors from our expert, Thurs 3pm ET http://bit.ly/9GADUJ" (Tweet from NASA today).
If you really want Twitter to work, pick people you want to learn from to follow (and of course some fun stuff along the way). If you know and respect someone and follow them on Twitter, the chances are that they follow someone they respect as well. Do some research. See who they follow. Within an hour or two you can be following the top experts in any field of expertise. Why are you NOT on Twitter? You can be learning the same information as your mentors at the exact same time. How amazing is that? When in history was information available like this to everyone at once in 140 characters or less? Take advantage.
Educators and classrooms are taking polls, creating searches, and voicing their opinions. You want to create some self-motivated learners? Have you not been looking for a way for your students to learn without you there? Does it really only have to be about your subject? Do you want them to get excited about learning? Let them use their cell phones...it's technology (surprise)! Shed some light on this tool called Twitter that your students have already been using and coach them on how to make it useful. Teach them.
As a teacher, I know I have said of myself, "I am a life-long learner." Now I say, "I am a life-long learner all day long." Can we help our students learn how to do the same?