Monday, June 15, 2009

Twittering in the classroom

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read each others' updates, known as tweets. Tweets are short text-based posts displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to other users - known as followers - who have subscribed to them.

YouTube video - Twitter in Plain English

In March 2009, a blog ranked Twitter as the fastest-growing site in the Member Communities category for February 2009. Twitter had a monthly growth of 1382%.

With the appeal of this service, perhaps twitter can find a place in the classroom and improve communication? David Parry at the University of Texas at Dallas discusses his experience using Twitter in the classroom in a January 2008 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

If you want to give it a try, check out this blog post I found at that lists 50 Ways to Use Twitter in the College Classroom for helpful suggestions, such as:

  • Direct Tweet. Professors and students can contact each other through direct Tweets without having to share cell phone numbers.
  • Get to know your classmates. A class Twitter group will help facilitate professors and students getting to know each other, especially if the class is part of a more intimate setting such as a seminar.
  • Collaborate on projects. When working together on projects, set up a group using an app like Tweetworks to facilitate communication between everyone working together.
  • Make announcements. Professors can send out reminders about upcoming tests, project due dates, or any news that needs to be shared via Twitter.
  • Brainstorm. The ability to share ideas as the occur any time and any where creates an excellent opportunity for brainstorming on class topics.
  • Take a poll. Ask student their opinions or get feedback on future projects or topics by using an app like PollDaddy.
  • Share interesting websites. Both professors and students can post interesting websites that are relevant to their class.
  • Practice brevity. English professors can assign stories that must be Tweeted within the 140 character limit to practice writing with succinctness.
  • twittories. Another great English class activity, participate in creating a story where each person can add 140 characters to contribute to the story as a whole.
  • Keep up with politicians. Many politicians are on Twitter. A political science or current events class can get real-time updates from politicians.


Cathy W. said...

Some intriguing suggestions in the articles you posted. Thanks!

Cathy W. said...

In another interesting article
"5 Essential Peripherals for Librarians," Ryan Deschamps (e-Learning Services Manager at the Halifax Public Libraries) suggests 5 tools to use with Twitter "to improve the way you diseminate and retrieve information."

Tracy said...

This is very interesting. I asked my 16 year old niece about Twitter and she had never heard of it. Most data I have seen show that Twitter users are older than the average age of college students.

Yvonne said...

Not classroom related, but I'm amazed at all of the tweets concerning the Iran election. I have a Tweet Grid if you want to check it out.