Professor Monica Rankin of the University of Texas at Dallas uses twitter to open up widely discussion in her classroom. She post questions and feedback to those questions on a live tweet board during the class and tells the students to refer back to those when studying. Below is a link to a video of how she does it.
My three “a-ha” moments would have to be that twitter really involves something that a student will want to get involved in, it brings the fun back into education. Another one would be that the history of these tweets don’t last very long. That’s a flaw to this new system because as the article states it would be hard to look back towards the end of the semester. My last one would be that twitter only allows 140 character limit. That’s not really a lot of things to write which would get annoying for me.
“ it's going to be messy but that doesn't mean bad." I believe a lot of educators are hesitate of technology in the classroom because they see it as messy but as she points out it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. I really agree with this statement.
I feel like I would get a lot of something like this in my classroom. She is right by saying usually only 3 or 4 students talk about the subject matter, this would allow for more discussion. This is something I would like to see implemented in some of my classes right now where a lot of students don’t have enough time to stick around and ask for help because we have to go to our next class.
Professor Cole W Camplese at the University of Penn State of University Park has begun this new phenomenon of using live tweets during his classroom along with his lecture. He first started in a classroom where he a loud students to bring their laptops and get on the twitter message board of the class and begin tweeting about what he was lecturing on and what questions they might have. He has sense to the two screen classroom where one is his power point and the other the twitter post comments. He allows the students to respond to one another’s post and comment on how to better understand the material. Sometimes he will stop class to go over one of the post.
Three “a-ha” that jumped at me is the fact that he wants to use two screens. To me he finds this more effective in the idea that he can see faster what the class is saying so that he can respond to it. Another is the idea that he accepts the idea that it might create a distraction to the classroom but to me he doesn’t see the distraction as a bad thing. The last “a-ha” point I see is once again shy students feel more free to open up in a discussion board type of setting and they got the answers they needed right then as they had them.
In a response to a question of this bringing chaos to the classroom, the professor responded with “I will disrupt the old classroom model and allow new kinds of teaching in which students play a greater role and information is pulled in from outside the classroom walls.” I believe this is a sign of a good teacher of always trying to reinvent the ways of teaching so that the students gets the most of what is being taught.
I feel as if this professor has the right idea of how to go about doing something like this in a classroom type of setting. I believe the two screen system is best way possible of avoiding chaos in the classroom that way the teacher and students have a clear view of what the class is struggling to understand fully. I believe that this is not a distraction in the classroom because it’s helping students understand the material better then just going home and trying an e-mail.
Professor David Parry of the University of Texas at Dallas was one of the first to begin using twitter in his classroom back in 2008. Now that twitter has taken off in little over a year he requires students in his class to sign up for a twitter account and follow him on his twitter page. The professor will post various articles or websites that he would like to class to look at and he believes this is the best way to do it. Although some students get charged for every text message they receive via twitter, he reminds students that they can switch the settings to just send any twitter message to their email account. He finds this very effective in allowing the classroom to open up with one another and allow them to ask questions of the material they discuss during class and get a quick response back via twitter can send the message to the phone of the recipients.
Three “a-ha” moments I had is that I never realized that a down side to this would be the charge for those that don’t have the “free” text messages on even a cell phone. However, it kind of crosses it self out because you can set up the account to send it to the persons email. Another “a-ha” is the fact the professor first thought twitter was a bad idea. However, once he tried it out and saw how great of a teaching technique it was he couldn’t resist but to use it. The third thing I see here is that once you decide not to send to your phone you loose the immediacy of getting a quick response. Therefore the idea of twitter kind of gets washed out the window because it has become nothing more than a glorious email via twitter.
“ It was the single thing that changed the classroom dynamics more than anything I’ve ever done teaching,” This was a quote of his in response to how it made the students in the classroom feel like they were more a community then a classroom. This is because he allowed students into his daily life with personal updates on his twitter page and also because students would tweet about things they had gotten that day or things they had seen on the news. He believes this is another great way that twitter can help in the classroom.
I love the ideas that this teacher comes up with in why twitter should be used in the classroom. To many times students are very timid to ask questions about something they don’t understand either because they don’t want to be that “dumb” student who doesn’t understand or because they don’t want to slow the class time down and not get all of the information. Twitter in the classroom also can make the classroom come together and get to know each other more than just the hour and fifteen minutes they see of each other a couple days a week. It gives them a chance to connect and to learn together.
In conclusion I can see why professors are choosing to go the twitter route in the classroom. It allows students to engage in new ways that they have never known before. I believe that the positives out weigh the negatives and that more teachers should look into it. However, the only concern I could see is that if student don’t have cell phones or don’t have text messaging then it takes the meaning of twitter away for the classroom setting. I see that oncourse does something similar to this with having chat rooms in each class so that the students can interact with one another. Using twitter is an upgrade to this I believe it should be looked into.