A 15-20 minute presentation for PGCLTHE students (which I am on a student on, and will be teaching next year) on Twitter, which I have been using since February 2009, and some ideas for using it in the classroom.
Been into digital tools since 1997 Return from travels in November 2008 (had been using travelblog to keep in touch) One of the job options was applying for was as Web Manager, and started to see Digital Strategy increasingly relevant in those job roles. Started playing with various social media tools, and found that Twitter was the big one in the pack! As started to move back towards academia, started to see that there were possibilities… started to learn terms… (popularised by Marc Prensky: http://www.marcprensky.com/blog/archives/000045.html ) Digital Native (technology their first stop) See Jake , used to sharing through peer-to-peer networks Digital Immigrant (had to learn to use/adapt) Digital Aliens (don’t want to use) The expectation is that more DN’s like Jake (aged 14) are coming to University, and we need to be prepared for them...
“ Generation Y is just not interested in Twitter. The reports generally cited members of this demographic as saying Twitter was &quot;pointless&quot; and &quot;narcissistic.&quot; Apparently, that's beginning to change . Well, maybe not their perception of Twitter, but certainly their use of it. Today, Twitter is now the second-youngest of the top four social networking sites. Its median age is 31. MySpace's is 26, LinkedIn is 39, and, as noted above, Facebook is 33. When looking at specific younger demographic segments, and not just Gen Y, you can see strong Twitter uptake over the past year. For example, 37% of those 18-24 now use Twitter when only 19% did back in December 2008. And in the slightly older 25-34 bracket, a portion of which could still be considered Gen Y, 31% are now using the service compared to only 20% in December of last year. Combined, these two groups account for more than half of Twitter's network.” Why? Pressure from employers/tutors Influx of celebrity tweeters Those in workplace have found useful for networking purposes.
Password protected accounts allow you to have private conversations, but you can only have one account per email address so think carefully.
That most famous of users… well maybe apart from Ashton Kutcher and Britney Spears… (also tweets as @MrsStephenFry)
Think carefully about the name that you use for Twitter. Shorter is better so you can be re-tweeted, and you’re not using up large chunks of your 140 characters before you start.. Must add image, location makes a difference to a lot of people (mine always overrides as iPhone!). Bio: Key. Only 160 characters, think carefully about can include here, makes a real difference to who may follow you (Twitter is now so big a lot of spam/porn on it!) Indicates following (which others can see), followers (which only you can, I think), and lists others have added you to… (initial home page will also have info to the side for 10 favourite terms, etc., ‘Direct Messages’, and indicates where your user name has appeared in other’s tweets. Add a clear picture of yourself. I don’t like following people without ‘avatars’ unless I already know them in ‘the real world’. Think carefully about how you use your 160 characters for your ‘biography’, as others will use this (along with your ‘feed’).
Digisymp – wrote to the digisymp organiser to indicate 3 possible ideas for hashtags, and he started using all 3, and someone else started another one, and of course this was using up most of 140 characters before people were able to write anything else, so at the first break I HAD WORDS, and we sent out tweets on all hashtags saying we were going to be using #digisymp only… Today I am also at a virtual conference (via Elluminate, which is similar to Wimba), and the back chat on that is REALLY interesting, and the conference presenters are engaging with what’s behind that – are some issues – coming through Times Higher that Twitter is allowing people to “bully” in the backchat, and demonstrate their “academic Superiority” (@stephenfry famous flounce-out), but is this any different from online?
Build up ideas of who is influential and WHY… e.g. this is my Digital Fingerprint, and these are the lists I’m being followed by – when timbuckteeth (Steve Wheeler @ Uni Plymouth) added me to the list, I got another 50 followers, which gives me a wider base to interact with!
@Jeffpulver describes Twitter (and other social networking) as the party invite…, leading people back to your other material (most usually your blog), and that certainly works. Write for @sfdo (one of Uni of Winch supported businesses), and we notice spikes after have posted blog links to Twitter (Hootsuite can automate this to appear 2-3 hours after the blog post appears – which I have also pre-set, sometimes 2-3 months in advance!). Go back and have a look at this diagram to see what it’s possibilities are…
In all the discussions I’ve been having online, where SOME people are dismissing certain types of technologies (including PowerPoint), have to say BUT THEY ARE JUST TOOLS, and it’s how they are used (as I had to say about propaganda in my thesis !)… a lot of the time when you see PPT, you know why people want to get rid of them, and see that as one of my tasks to help students out of that… As Paul Race says, when we’re talking about e-learning, we need to ensure that the LEARNING is put into e-learning! Use technology where it is appropriate, with reference to learning objectives, not just because you can… e.g. (p. 177) giving learner interesting things to do, providing quick/responsive feedback, helping them make sense of what they did, and deepening learning. These provide benchmarks to work towards, in 10/20 years won’t even think of using such material, but process needs to be hastened by collaboration... Associationist/Empiricist perspective – characterised much early learning re: knowledge transmission, building skills from the bottoms up Cognitive: Learning as achieving understanding, development through intellectual activity, rather than absorption of information. Situative: About becoming a ‘community of practice’ (where e.g. use of Second Life has a value, practice without “harm”.
I thought this was a REALLY great summary, so thought I’d just rephrase it… I mostly use Twitter as a newsfeed at the moment, find out who else is doing something I’m interested in, and look for ways to develop that – e.g. next week am meeting with Lisa Harris and Lorraine Warren from Uni of Southampton who I’ve been tweeting with for several months (met Lisa at a Winchester Web Scene event – so blended, not all e’s!) – as they have plans for a social media roadshow, which I am REALLY excited by!
Aside from aiding as a teaching tool, there is also the issue of research informed teaching, and educational networking can aid the academics in many ways Promote own research, and pass that promotion expertise onto students. Squidoo: Place for staff to place expertise PGCLTHE (Blended Learning module) – could be crowdsourced. GREAT for ‘backchat’ at conferences – the keynote yesterday was paying more attention to the backchat than the speaker – lots of debate about where education is going in the digital age, will we still have institutions, what are practical ideas for sharing, etc…
So many possibilities are already available online, needs a careful assessment of the value of these, some suggestions here... Less punitive, more encouraging. Using e.g. CET: get some face-to-face sessions going, with conversations which can then be continued online!
There’s plenty of ideas here – in no particular order, for you to follow up…
CREATING COMMUNITY, breaking down isolation. In US, may need to pay to receive each tweet, but if don’t set up as mobile = all fine. One idea I’ve seen used is poll everywhere, if all your students are using Twitter (and there’s debates about whether we can insist that students have Twitter, but it is possible to set up a PRIVATE (locked) account – you miss out on the main value of Twitter, but sometimes it’s all people are prepared to do!
Just some of the names that I follow – I am following a couple of thousand – can who see who others are following
Use DISTINCT accounts for different specialities, retweeting from drbexl if I think it’s particularly interesting… I get most from my @drbexl, it’s helpful not to overwhelm with social media tweets on a day when it’s social media, etc., and then can feed into my different blogs! Sometimes, not sure this is the right way!
To manage multiple accounts, use Hootsuite (the other week was told that a couple of people never click on Hootsuite/ow.ly links as the link through remains as a masking ow.ly link (some like it as you can monitor the number of hits on a particular Tweet) so am looking at other options – e.g. a lot of the bigger users use Tweetdeck or Seeismic. Allows me to set up tweets in advance (e.g. if go on holiday, as known that can lose a lot of followers if inactive – some people using tools which say that people haven’t tweeted, etc!) – just yesterday let’s you manage Facebook and Linked In and Ping.Fm from here too…
HUNDREDS of tools, add-ons, etc. for Twitter – here’s some others I’ve used.
Can see how my tweets (from my @ww2poster account) feed into my blog/website for my PhD research as I look to build community.
Twitter For P G C L T H E
TWITTER IN HIGHER EDUCATION Dr Bex Lewis [email_address]
A Digital Native: Jake’s Story <ul><li>“ Jake told the executive that he never goes directly to a brand like this man’s newspaper or even to blogs he likes. ... he reads a lot of news – far more than I did at his age. But he goes to that news only via the links from Digg, friends’ blogs, and Twitter. He travels all around the internet that is edited by his peers because he trusts them and knows they share his interests . The web of trust is built at eye-level, peer-to-peer.” (Jarvis, p.86, my emphasis ) </li></ul>
Read more… <ul><li>http://www.clex.org.uk/ </li></ul><ul><li>Government Report by Sir David Melville, published March 2009 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The impact on their experiences and expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their use of social networking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their adoption of new technologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developments at schools, colleges, campuses, including institutional developments. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Read Summary: http://digital-fingerprint.co.uk/2009/11/jisc-e-learning-fair/ </li></ul>
What is Twitter? <ul><li>140 Characters (based on SMS) known as “Tweets” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Displayed on author’s profile page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Read by subscribers (known as “Followers”) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Different from Facebook </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More interest/thematic based </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not time/geographically dependent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not as “personal” ‘I had toast’ does not cut it! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Privacy Options (not recommended) </li></ul><ul><li>Retweets (a mark of approval) </li></ul>
What is Twitter about? <ul><li>Twitter is about relationship building, you can’t just “broadcast” announcements out, you need to engage with your followers. </li></ul><ul><li>Post a mix of useful information, links to others tweets/information, and some personal information… quotes seem to work quite well too! </li></ul><ul><li>Use ‘hashtags’ (#) to follow conversations. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Well-known: #followfriday </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The etiquette for recommending is somewhat interesting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A certain amount of you pat my back… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>We want REASONS </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Just invent a hashtag. Worth checking that others aren’t using one, and if using for an event, agree beforehand. #digisymp http://digital-fingerprint.co.uk/2009/09/christianity-in-the-digital-space/ used http://www.twitterfall.com/ for “backchat” </li></ul></ul>
A Visual Guide to Twitter http://applicant.com/twitter-guide/#more-1446
<ul><li>But how can we use it? </li></ul>Technology is just a tool? http://www.camb-ed-us.com/school/standards-assessment.asp
http://digital-fingerprint.co.uk/2009/11/9-great-reasons-why-teachers-should-use-twitter/ <ul><li>Together we’re better: a virtual staff room </li></ul><ul><li>Global or local: you choose: potential to reach an international audience </li></ul><ul><li>Self-awareness and reflective practice: sharing best practice / challenges/ the educator’s journey </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas workshop and sounding board: Share ideas and get instant feedback, and constructive criticism. </li></ul><ul><li>Newsroom and innovation showcase: Keep up with current affairs, both news and with the latest developments in a specialist field – often being one of the first to know. Avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’ by working smarter/sharing ideas. “Pay It Forward” </li></ul><ul><li>Professional development and critical friends: a powerful network available ‘all the time’, not just at break-out times between training sessions. Take time to find the right people to follow. A source of healthy debate, without losing days in development time/large amounts of cash, and gain the courage of your own convictions. </li></ul><ul><li>Quality-assured searching: Trust the people you follow, and as your network gains a critical mass, often a more reliable source of information than Google, and offering up to the minute information on time-linked trending topics. </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate, communicate, communicate: “ Expressing yourself in 140 characters is a great discipline.” </li></ul><ul><li>Getting with the times has never been so easy!: It’s what the students are using, and therefore we also should. “Twitter is anything but complicated”, and plenty of websites offering help on how to get started. </li></ul>
Twitter? Helpful? Presentation: Dr Lorraine Warren http://www.slideshare.net/lisaharris/using-social-media-for-research
Practical Ideas? <ul><li>Twitter: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Backchatter” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Concise summaries of arguments/texts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collating information for students (e.g. world foods) for students to work with in session </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other Tools: </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs: Real-time engagement, formative feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Delicious: Bookmarking within a course, sharing links </li></ul><ul><li>Online treasure hunt: leading to the library! </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life: museum for Creating and Consuming History </li></ul><ul><li>E-Portfolio: Space for reflective journaling </li></ul><ul><li>Wiki: Non-linear development of an argument </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook Group: Industrial placement students, maintaining community </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube (and similar): Session tasters </li></ul>