Twitter for academic writingPresentation Transcript
Twitter for Academic Writing Daniel Craig Sangmyung University firstname.lastname@example.org @seouldaddy
Backchannel I encourage you to use Twitter to discuss this presentation and ask questions. If you have any questions during the presentation, send a Twitter message with the keyword #ETAK2011. I will answer those questions at the end of the presentation
What is Twitter? Twitter is a microblog.
Asynchronous like a traditional blog
Semi-synchronous like chat/SMS
Limited limit (140) like SMS
Twitter is social.
Users can “follow” or have “followers”
Join groups (# tags)
View real-time updates from those they follow or groups
Share links, pictures, audio, & video
Useful for Education? Concerns
Too little text (140 characters)
Access to authentic audience and input
Increased interaction outside of class
Opportunities for writing
Twitter can be many different things to many different people.
Individualization of instruction
Voice of historical and literal figures
Independent & collaborative storytelling and reporting
33 interesting ways to use Twitter in the classroom (http://www.ideastoinspire.co.uk/twitter.htm)
Language Education Linguistic, Cultural, & Social Objectives Linguistic
Useful for a focus on vocabulary, expressions, idioms, grammar topics, and a variety of other language objectives.
Access to native speakers of the L2 and insight into their routines, opinions, media, and general interests.
Formation, growth, and nurturing of distributed social networks.
Formation, growth, and nurturing of distributed social networks.
Linguistic Output Hypothesis (Swain, 1985) - Noticing, hypothesis testing, and metalinguistic reflection are part of our acquisition of language. Twitter supports this by:
Providing opportunities for output
Personal learning networks (PLN) can provide feedback on experimental language.
Interaction promotes negotiation of meaning and reflection of successes/failures.
Any implementation of Twitter should provide clear pathways to utilize these functions.
Cultural Need for language teachers to focus on cultures in which a language is used (Kramsch, 1995) Need for authentic contexts and tasks (Gilmore, 2007) Facilitated by Read/Write technologies
Technologies that facilitate interaction online
Blogs, Wikis, Social Networks, Microblogs, etc…
Twitter is a platform for engagement.
Little expectation of privacy, expectation of engagement.
Not uncommon to be contact by complete strangers.
Instructional design should include a focus on building and engaging networks.
Social Students need more than a couple hours a week to reach advanced proficiency (Thomas & Collier, 2002)
Twitter extends learning outside the classroom.
Twitter can provide extracurricular language practice.
Sharing of ideas and media with class members
Lead to greater social presence (Gunawardena, 1995)
Relationships can be strengthened through more frequent and less constrained interactions in online spaces such as Twitter.
Teachers must engage learners online and encourage two-way communication, not only with the teacher but with classmates as well.
Barriers to Use Diffusion of Innovation (Rogers, 1962)
Innovator, Early Adopter, Early Majority, Late Majority, & Laggard
Twitter is at Early Majority; In Korea, this is Early Adopter
Teachers need provide modeling, training, & time for uptake.
Twitter-specific language: @, DM, RT, #, and tweet.
Teachers must consider issues of privacy when designing and implementing instruction.
MethodsDesign-based Research Design-based Research (the Design-Based Research Collective)
Studying and refining learning environments and design principles (Reeves, 2000)
Focus on iterative evaluation of methodology and design theory.
5 Characteristics Focused both on design of learning environments and instructional theory. Continuous cycles of design, enactment, analysis, and redesign. Research must lead to sharable theories. Research must account for how designs function in authentic settings. Methods of documentation should be able to connect processes to outcomes.
MethodsData Collection 3 semesters of advanced writing courses in an English Education program
Little direct instruction, no training, many problems using technology
Reports of confusion with the interface and lexis
Ad hoc instruction was conducted mid-semester
Perception was, Twitter was difficult to use
Instituted “Twitter Paper”, direct instruction on use of technology, lexis, and writing resources
Twitter clients were still not described in detail.
Perception was still that Twitter was difficult to use.
Included demonstrations of 2 Web-based clients.
Connections between lexicon and features made explicit.
More use of phones and alternative clients, comfortable.
Production Semester 1:
No specific assignments, very few postings, little interaction.
Postings were words or short phrases.
Assignments that complemented instruction.
“Daily Tweets” regular postings, with some interaction.
Only did the minimum, quality still low.
More complex and creative assignments necessary.
More higher-order cognitive skills should be required
Feedback Semester 1:
Little produced, little feedback. Some feedback from teacher, little from students or the greater network.
Greater level of interaction, yet quite simplistic student-student.
Increase teacher feedback and engagement led to more overall interaction.
Few people in their networks.
Increase in social interactions, but little related to writing.
Even more feedback from teacher, but more is still needed.
Must increase use of Twitter networks.
Community-Building Semester 1:
No requirement for building a network, thus most students only added the teacher.
Little interaction, thus little community.
Required to follow at least 50 people (inc, 30 classmates), few actually did so.
More interaction with classmates, better sense of community.
Complained about seeing too many posts from 50 people.
Knowledge of and comfort with Twitter led to many more interactions between students and extended network.
Students asked class questions and met socially.
Still difficult for students to follow 50 people.
Resource Distribution Semester 1:
Teacher contributed writing and content resources.
Students did not contribute resources.
Teacher provided resources.
Some exchange of links to writing and content resources by students.
Increased sharing of research, content, and writing resources.
More of an emphasis on sharing is necessary, including the sharing of media for both class and social reasons.
EAP Twitter Model
Conclusion The use of Twitter for education has real potential. The ability to form large networks of like-minded people enables learners to both produce authentic messages for the network and to receive feedback from the network. This makes writing an authentic task in an authentic context. It also provides a support network that can follow learners long after completion of the class.
Questions/Comments? Thank you! Any Questions? Daniel Craig Sangmyung University http://danielcraig.posterous.com email@example.com @seouldaddy