Ed140: Twitter for Teaching and Learning


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Talk given at the IRLT, York University (Nov 11/10)
Should educators really care about 140 characters or less? Is the buzz surrounding Twitter applicable to higher education? Does this social networking site really have a place in the classroom? Can we leverage Twitter to inform learning and enhance teaching?

We can effectively integrate Twitter to support our pedagogical objectives in any discipline, as it provides the platform for authentic communication with many experts, and it can help motivate learners to engage in learning beyond the classroom. Tweets are self-perpetuating and generative, and create organic learning communities that can facilitate deeper knowledge, better communication and new connections. Twitter, like other social networking tools, is always on, always connected—accessible via web, text, mobile applications, and more—and lends itself to communication synchronously and asynchronously. This talk will offer suggestions for student activities, ways to establish a teacher’s personal learning network, and examples of Twitter use in higher education.

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  • Do these self-obsessive sound bites contain transferrable skills to higher education? Are these “tweets” not mindless banalities?
    Though allowing students to speak in “sound bites” and “self-obsess” (http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/article/2699/a-professors-tips-for-using-twitter-in-the-classroom) via Twitter may seem to contradict the concept of higher learning and the quest for knowledge
  • Twitter is a microblogging service, a social network site that
    enables learning, communication, sharing, collaboration, community
    It is always on, always connected…so are the tweeps
  • Make a wikipedia joke… will it ever be accepted in by teachers and scholars?
  • @CNN / @Ashton Kutchner / @Starbucks / @Oprah / @BarackObama
    Pmharper, Danaykroyd, Petermansbridge, Alanismorissette, Davidsuzuki, Rickmercer
    Julian Fantino & T_Genco
    Twitter – the it girl of social networking (Langton, J. Forget Facebook, everyone's a-Twitter. The Toronto Star. Mar 29, 2008 Retrieved Mar. 29, 2008 from: http://www.thestar.com/article/350659)
    June 18 2009 – twitter is changing the way we live—and showing us the future of innovation!
  • Where you tweet in 140 characters or less – message size is key to Twitter’s success
    RT – tweet worth sharing with your timeline  sharing and crediting resources
    Links – twitpic pictures no separate account required / links to articles, sites, etc. open in new browser tab/window
    Hashtag – way to join a conversation about a certain “trending topic” – useful for conferences (#ACTFL10), current events, etc.  cavaet. #hashtags have a shelflife. If it is not used for a certain period of time, it is no longer searchable
  • At the beginning of a tweet, the conversation is “recordable”…that is it is easy to read the thread of the dialogue. In the middle of a tweet, the thread of the dialogue is lost.
    Why is it important to have DMs? Everything on twitter is open, searchable by Google and other search engines. Conversations maybe easily followed. So if this openness is an issue, the twitterer should lock the account, an option offered in the account setup. Advantages to a private twitter account are that it is exclusive to friends, no spambots or people who like to friend anyone. Disadvantages, hard to develop your PLN if people don’t cannot read your tweets on your area of expertise or areas you would like to develop.
  • To manage multiple identities
  • We all have growing pains
  • -Unexpected and unprecedented growth over spring-summer of 2010 caused significant issues with accessing the SN. Forecasters predict there will be 200 million twitter accounts by year end
    -big celeb who “doesn’t get” Twitter aggressively tweets for the first time, yelling at anyone following her
    -spambots were quite problematic when Twitter’s popularity skyrocketed in 2008-2009. Spambots were accounts automatically created to deliver “junk tweets” with links to offensive and disreputable sites
    -most recent issues with the data records…tweets/followers have been “lost”, i.e., the database data in which tweeps’ data is stored had a glitch
  • London school of economics - Successfully defended September 2007 – @ev and @jack launch twitter in March 2006
    The findings are discussed within a theoretical framework exploring the role of society in shaping technology and the influence a technology’s design may have on how it is used.
    the Social Shaping of Technology (SST) and Social Construction of Technology (SCOT),
    3,371 tweets were classified
    Taken together, it could be argued that Twitter’s creators established it as a ‘neutral’ platform, entirely malleable by its users and therefore affording them the opportunity to determine its core uses.
  • CALICO MONOGRAPH SERIES chapter 4 My study – research conducted in Spring of 2008
    Dunlap, J. C. & Lowenthal, P. R. (2009). Tweeting the night away: Using Twitter to enhance social presence. Journal of Information Systems Education, 20(2).
    Another study by Lowenthal and Dunlap, in the fall of 2008 looked at the role of twitter in an online instructional design and technology courses. We did not require students to participate, but invited them to join us in our Twitter adventure as we tested its instructional potential. Although not everyone chose to participate, most did with positive results. This was integrated as a mechanism for just-in-time social interactions.
  • Same institution as David Parry, author and persona @AcademHack who recognized the value of this social networking tool & commenced a conversation on transforming it to educational networking (blog posts in early 2007 and 2008)
    Use of twitter as an inclass tool that allowed for participation, reflection and further comments after class too.
    Twitter stream monitored by graduate TA and students who didn’t have a computer, mobile device, not comfortable with tweeting, would leave comments with TA who would post them after the lesson
  • main reason was that there wasn’t as much penetration on Twitter
    Popularity of Twitter in Education and higher ed – determine if there is any effect
    Findings to be released in forthcoming issue of Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (Volume 26, issue 6, nov 2010)
  • Alec Couros, professor of information and communication technologies, at the University of Regina talks to us about openness and connectedness
  • Alec Couros, professor of information and communication technologies, at the University of Regina talks to us about openness and connectedness
  • With twitter My Personal Learning Network (PLN) broadened rapidly. Having such fantasti c support, encouragement and advice on hand almost 24 hours a day gave me the confidence to begin trying out new ideas and web 2.0 tools both as an aid to teaching and as a creative tool for my pupils to use
    My PLN (Personal Learning Network) on Twitter has been a wonderful source of new ideas and resources and this has made me grow in ways I had not imagined.
    Hashtags - Create groupings by adding context and metadata. Tweets can be aggregated for data collection and review very easily
  • Interview with paulino brener about his paper:
    Why: To organize all the information and links shared by my PLN
    How: Reads it daily. Teaser of articles allows him to preview without clicking link. Further reading ensues if article interests him
    Feedbck: the paper promotes itself (automatically tweets daily when paper is ready). Gets retweeted regularly so it becomes part of PLN, created by PLN and used by PLN  collaboration
  • AcademHack
  • Do not let the technology drive the pedagogy…let the pedagogy lead you to Twitter
  • Do not let the technology drive the pedagogy…let the pedagogy lead you to Twitter
  • Do not let the technology drive the pedagogy…let the pedagogy lead you to Twitter
  • Ed140: Twitter for Teaching and Learning

    1. 1. November 2010
    2. 2. college humor video: twitter in real life
    3. 3. measure of influence? timeline management
    4. 4. Picture icon Link to picture hashtag retweet Picture icon retweet Link to picturehashtag
    5. 5. Video icon
    6. 6. video link here
    7. 7. via Alec Couros http://couros.ca/cv
    8. 8. By geographical location? By influential status? By common interest? http://www.twibes.com/group/WorldLanguages
    9. 9. AcademHack www.outsidethetext.com/home/2008/twitter-for-academia/
    10. 10. November 2010