Using Twitter to enhance your research and teaching:
A brief introduction for academics & postgraduate students

Dr Siobha...
So what is Twitter?

Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
Twitter is a “real-time information network
that connects you to stories, ideas, opinions,
and news”

Individuals or group...
When I log in to my account, this is what I see…

Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
Link to a list of my interactions
with other people on Twitter

Search for people or
topics

Link to modify
account
settin...
If I click on the ‘Connect’ tab, this is what I see…

Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
A real-time list of people
who have
• Re-tweeted one of
my tweets
• Responded to one of
my tweets
• Marked one of my
tweet...
If I click on the ‘Me’ tab, this is what I see…

Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
Links to lists of
• My tweets
• The people I’m
following
• My followers
• Tweets I’ve marked
as ‘Favourites’
• Lists of of...
When you first sign up for Twitter, you’ll need to
create a Profile

Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 201...
Tips for a Great Profile
Name / Handle
Should be factual, easy to remember, & easy to
spot in a list of search results
Pho...
Once you have a profile, you can start tweeting

Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
Tips for Tweets
140 Characters
The length of a tweet is strictly limited to 140
characters
Links
You can include links to ...
Then you’ll be wanting people to read your
tweets…

Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
Tips for Getting Followers
Follow people
Reciprocity is the key to a successful Twitter
experience
Respond to other people...
Some other stuff you might find handy…

Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
Retweets (RT)
To RT is to send someone else’s tweet out to your followers
without modifying it. You can do this by copying...
So who is on Twitter?

Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
Well, unfortunately…

Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
Kanye West , Kim Kardashian and a ridiculous
number of cats are all on Twitter

Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, N...
But, fortunately….

Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
Lots of intelligent, interesting, kind-hearted
people & organisations are there too!

Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith Univers...
Okay, but what about research?

Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
Twitter is useful at every stage of the
research process....
Findings jobs
Generating ideas and questions
Identifying fund...
Twitter also....
Supports professional development
*See Spotlight

Enhances community engagement
Share your research with ...
Professional Development
Twitter Communities of Practice
allow you to engage with like-minded
professionals from across th...
ECRChat – A Twitter Community of Practice
Started by two early career researchers
@snarkyphd @KL_Wheat

Fortnightly Twitte...
Hello My Name Is – A Twitter Community of
Practice
Started by Elderly Medicine Registrar & cancer
patient @GrangerKate

De...
Conference Hashtags
Share information with followers who can’t attend

Engage with delegates you might not otherwise have ...
And what about teaching?

Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
Twitter….
Is useful for sourcing up-to-the-minute, real world
examples for use in teaching
Including international events ...
Using Twitter in Lectures – The Pros
Students & staff can ask and respond to questions
Students & staff can give and recei...
Using Twitter in Lectures – The Cons
It isn’t suited to all teaching styles
If you can’t do it well, don’t do it at all

D...
An example of Twitter in the Lecture Theatre

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WPVWDkF7U8

Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith Uni...
So you’re ready to embrace Twitter, but before
you do, here are a few tips for young players…

Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffit...
Stay Classy
Your tweets should be 90% Professional,
10% Personal
Reveal enough about yourself so that your
followers can y...
Stay ‘On Message’
Your tweets should be 90% on-message,
10% general interest
Your ‘on-message’ tweets should stick to the
...
Don’t Bogart the Spliff
90% of your tweets should be
in your own words,
10% should be RTs

Your Twitter account is your br...
Aim for 90/10 and you’ll achieve 70/30
Aim for 70/30 and you’ll end up an
honorary Kardashian

Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffit...
A few quick Dos and Don’ts
Do engage with people
It’s called ‘social’ media for a reason
Do support other people’s causes
...
Twitter is Addictive!
To ensure family and friends don’t have to stage an
intervention…
Use hashtag searches to locate rel...
Think it’s too hard or you’re too old?

Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
Bollocks!

Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
Thank-you
For a list of interesting articles about
using Twitter in research & teaching
please contact me …
Email: s.odwye...
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Using Twitter to Enhance Your Research & Teaching: A Brief Introduction for Academics & Postgraduate Students

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This is a modified version of a presentation delivered by Dr Siobhan O'Dwyer at Griffith University on 13th November, 2013.

Dr O'Dwyer is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Health Practice Innovation & the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention. Her research focuses on suicide risk in family carers of people with dementia. She also contributes to research on quality of life for people with dementia living in residential aged care, and suicide risk in older adults.

Dr O'Dwyer's Twitter account is @Siobhan_ODwyer and she tweets on topics related to dementia, carers, suicide, resilience, research, and higher education. She also hosts the account @SUWTues which leads a virtual Shut Up & Write session for academics and postgraduate students every Tuesday morning.

For more information about this presentation, or Dr O'Dwyer's research, please contact her via Twitter or s.odwyer@griffith.edu.au

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  • http://bit.ly/181nAAdhttp://bit.ly/13gx4Fw
  • There is also a huge range of community organisations, service providers, peak bodies, unions, politicians, journalists, newspapers, television programs, and radio stations on Twitter.The conversationThe lancetMayo clinicNPRScience FridayNational GeographicThe AtlanticNY Times
  • Using Twitter to Enhance Your Research & Teaching: A Brief Introduction for Academics & Postgraduate Students

    1. 1. Using Twitter to enhance your research and teaching: A brief introduction for academics & postgraduate students Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer Research Fellow Centre for Health Practice Innovation & Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention Griffith University E: s.odwyer@griffith.edu.au November 2013 @Siobhan_ODwyer
    2. 2. So what is Twitter? Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    3. 3. Twitter is a “real-time information network that connects you to stories, ideas, opinions, and news” Individuals or groups have Twitter accounts from which they send tweets A tweet is a small burst of information restricted to 140 characters Tweets can be accessed by signing up for a free Twitter account at www.twitter.com Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    4. 4. When I log in to my account, this is what I see… Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    5. 5. Link to a list of my interactions with other people on Twitter Search for people or topics Link to modify account settings Tweets from people I follow, in real time Links to lists of my tweets, my followers & the people I’m following Suggestions for who to follow Topics that are trending (i.e. lots of people are talking about) on Twitter right now Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    6. 6. If I click on the ‘Connect’ tab, this is what I see… Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    7. 7. A real-time list of people who have • Re-tweeted one of my tweets • Responded to one of my tweets • Marked one of my tweets as a Favourite • Followed me • Mentioned me in one of their tweets Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    8. 8. If I click on the ‘Me’ tab, this is what I see… Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    9. 9. Links to lists of • My tweets • The people I’m following • My followers • Tweets I’ve marked as ‘Favourites’ • Lists of of people I’ve grouped together by topic Link to options for editing my profile Recent photos and videos I’ve tweeted All of my tweets and my responses to other people’s tweets, in real time Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    10. 10. When you first sign up for Twitter, you’ll need to create a Profile Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    11. 11. Tips for a Great Profile Name / Handle Should be factual, easy to remember, & easy to spot in a list of search results Photo Should be high quality, reasonably attractive, & consistent with your professional persona Description (max. 160 Characters) Should describe your credentials & reflect the content of your tweets. Consider the pros & cons of naming your employer Location Should be factual, but general. Safety & privacy are a priority Website Should link readers to a site with more information about you or your work. I link to my latest paper Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    12. 12. Once you have a profile, you can start tweeting Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    13. 13. Tips for Tweets 140 Characters The length of a tweet is strictly limited to 140 characters Links You can include links to websites. Shorten links with bitly.com Photos You can attach a photo or video to your tweet, but the link is included as part of your 140 characters Hashtags You can use hashtags to make a point or highlight the topic of your tweet. Use sparingly Contacts You can include someone else’s twitter handle in the tweet in order to connect with them or introduce your followers to them. Be kind Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    14. 14. Then you’ll be wanting people to read your tweets… Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    15. 15. Tips for Getting Followers Follow people Reciprocity is the key to a successful Twitter experience Respond to other people’s tweets Starting a conversation with someone is the fastest way to get them to notice you Mention other people in your tweets This lets them know: (a) that you exist and (b) that their work is of interest Be consistent and reliable in what and how you Tweet This is the ‘if you build it, they will come’ rule of Twitter. Get a reputation as a consistent & reliable source of information, and the followers will flock Tweet regularly But not too regularly! I have ‘unfollowed’ people because they are too prolific Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    16. 16. Some other stuff you might find handy… Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    17. 17. Retweets (RT) To RT is to send someone else’s tweet out to your followers without modifying it. You can do this by copying the person’s handle and their text into your own tweet and putting RT before it, or by simply clicking on the ‘Retweet’ link underneath their tweet. Modified Tweets (MT) An MT is when you send a modified version of someone else’s tweet out to your followers. You can do by this by putting the person’s handle and the modified text into your own tweet and putting MT before it. Favourites (★) There are two main reasons to mark a tweet as ‘Favourite’. (1) To let the person who sent it know that you like it . (2) As a way of archiving tweets for later perusal. Tweets marked as ‘Favourite’ are kept in a list in your account. Direct Messages (DM) If you want to correspond with someone on Twitter, but don’t want that correspondence to be public, use the DM function. Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    18. 18. So who is on Twitter? Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    19. 19. Well, unfortunately… Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    20. 20. Kanye West , Kim Kardashian and a ridiculous number of cats are all on Twitter Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    21. 21. But, fortunately…. Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    22. 22. Lots of intelligent, interesting, kind-hearted people & organisations are there too! Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    23. 23. Okay, but what about research? Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    24. 24. Twitter is useful at every stage of the research process.... Findings jobs Generating ideas and questions Identifying funding opportunities Recruiting participants Collecting data Disseminating findings Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    25. 25. Twitter also.... Supports professional development *See Spotlight Enhances community engagement Share your research with the people who are the most likely to benefit from it and the least likely to read an academic journal article Enhances media engagement If a journalist can’t find you on Twitter, they can’t find you! Improves writing Particularly for grant applications which often have strict character limits Enhances the conference experience *See Spotlight Department name (edit in View > Header and Footer...) Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    26. 26. Professional Development Twitter Communities of Practice allow you to engage with like-minded professionals from across the world and share information & experiences. They also facilitate professional development & evidence-based practice Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    27. 27. ECRChat – A Twitter Community of Practice Started by two early career researchers @snarkyphd @KL_Wheat Fortnightly Twitter discussions on topics related to the post-PhD experience Hashtag #ecrchat allows tweets to be collated (via Storify) Hashtag also used to alert ECRs to articles of interest between discussions Accompanying website provides more information http://ecrchat.wordpress.com/ Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    28. 28. Hello My Name Is – A Twitter Community of Practice Started by Elderly Medicine Registrar & cancer patient @GrangerKate Designed to improve the quality of care provided by medical staff, by encouraging them to introduce themselves to patients Hashtag #hellomynameis allows staff and patients to share their experiences and facilitates improvements in practice Accompanying website provides more information http://drkategranger.wordpress.com/
    29. 29. Conference Hashtags Share information with followers who can’t attend Engage with delegates you might not otherwise have met Provide immediate feedback to speakers & conference organisers
    30. 30. And what about teaching? Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    31. 31. Twitter…. Is useful for sourcing up-to-the-minute, real world examples for use in teaching Including international events in the news, politics, movies, music, and memes, just to name a few Can be used to boost engagement during lectures *See Spotlight Improves student writing Brevity and clarity are essential writing skills, and Twitter fosters the development of both Is useful for linking students with reliable online sources of information and communities of practice Most of your students are on Twitter anyway, why not help them maximise its potential? Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    32. 32. Using Twitter in Lectures – The Pros Students & staff can ask and respond to questions Students & staff can give and receive feedback Staff can use Twitter polls to assess student understanding in real time Less confident students can offer opinions without having to speak in front of a large group Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    33. 33. Using Twitter in Lectures – The Cons It isn’t suited to all teaching styles If you can’t do it well, don’t do it at all Discussions can be unruly or get off topic Too much information too fast can be hard to curate Affordable access to technology is an equity issue Not all students have access & data download costs on smartphones can be prohibitive Twitter is a gateway drug Students who are online for Twitter can be easily distracted by other shiny things online Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    34. 34. An example of Twitter in the Lecture Theatre http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WPVWDkF7U8 Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    35. 35. So you’re ready to embrace Twitter, but before you do, here are a few tips for young players… Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    36. 36. Stay Classy Your tweets should be 90% Professional, 10% Personal Reveal enough about yourself so that your followers can you see are human and approachable, but not so much that they know what brand of shaving cream you use Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    37. 37. Stay ‘On Message’ Your tweets should be 90% on-message, 10% general interest Your ‘on-message’ tweets should stick to the topics outlined in your Profile Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    38. 38. Don’t Bogart the Spliff 90% of your tweets should be in your own words, 10% should be RTs Your Twitter account is your brand and people follow you because they are interested in what you have to say… But hogging the limelight is just not cool! Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    39. 39. Aim for 90/10 and you’ll achieve 70/30 Aim for 70/30 and you’ll end up an honorary Kardashian Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    40. 40. A few quick Dos and Don’ts Do engage with people It’s called ‘social’ media for a reason Do support other people’s causes Help promote their conferences, events, & information and they will promote yours Do read websites, links, & documents before tweeting or RTing You’re an academic, act like one. Put your evaluation skills to good use Don’t say anything you aren’t prepared to defend in a job interview Anything you say on Twitter is on the public record Don’t feed the trolls Engaging in intellectual debates is fine, vitriol is not. If you are the subject of vicious or personal attacks via Twitter, report them, block them, and do NOT respond Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    41. 41. Twitter is Addictive! To ensure family and friends don’t have to stage an intervention… Use hashtag searches to locate relevant content Use Lists to group like people together & identify relevant content Set times for checking/updating Twitter (and stick to them!) Use platforms like Instapaper.com to archive websites of interest for reading later ACCEPT THAT YOU CANNOT READ OR TWEET EVERYTHING Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    42. 42. Think it’s too hard or you’re too old? Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    43. 43. Bollocks! Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013
    44. 44. Thank-you For a list of interesting articles about using Twitter in research & teaching please contact me … Email: s.odwyer@griffith.edu.au Twitter: @Siobhan_ODwyer And don’t forget to check out my new account @SUWTues Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Griffith University, November 2013

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