Using Twitter as an Educational Tool: R U Tweeting?
Are you? If not, allow me to briefly explain why you should. Twitter is a real-time bulletin board for the web, smart phone, or tablet. A never-ending amount of informational tidbits are fed to the Twitter user who tailors his or her own experience based on the people they follow or by which hashtags they use to find and contribute information. “Tweets” are kept short (140 characters to be exact), so Tweets are concise and communicate quick, easy-to-access information. This type of information transmission can be extremely useful in the educational setting. As an educator, consider using Twitter as your own source of information, news, and professional development by following colleagues and industry experts. For instructors involved in distance learning, Twitter proves beneficial because of they way it allows faculty to communicate with students and foster collaboration. Use Twitter to:
- Alert the entire class of changes to deadlines, class cancellations, or other time-sensitive information.
- Be available to students. With no “office hours,” another real-time option for student/teacher interaction is a must.
- Collaborate. Imagine the potential for classmates who have never met working together to solve like problems.
- Share links of breaking news relevant to course content or that will enhance student experience of the instruction.
- Get feedback. It’s amazing how quickly questions get answered on Twitter. Ask for feedback from your followers, and watch the input roll in.
In this video clip (from the Micro-MOOC Engaging Technology and Online Pedagogy), Brian Mull, Director of Innovation at November Learning, discusses his use of Twitter in education: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Q_7U7qat1k&version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0] Resources to Get You Started Using Twitter Twitter Cheat Sheet from Elliot Design (click image to download full size PDF)
Twitter Guide for Educators from Smart Board Goodies (click image to download PDF)