Twitter: Professional Development and Instruction


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Presentation to faculty on the following points: social networking tools that allows people to share information

a real-time feed to like-minded individuals

in an education or training context could represent a powerful way for educators to publicize research, communicate with their students, be connected with a wider learning or scholarly community, or signpost “followers” to interesting resources, and news stories.

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  • Welcome – IOCBBA. What is Twitter? - A 140 character micro blogsocial networking tools that allows people to share informationa real-time feed to like-minded individualsin an education or training context could represent a powerful way for educators to publicize research, communicate with their students, be connected with a wider learning or scholarly community, or signpost “followers” to interesting resources, and news stories.
  • This presentation (hopefully interactive) will be delivered in two sections. One will present some guidelines and best practices for setting up your professional colleague and student facing account, how to find other professionals or organizations to follow, and what to tweet. The second part will present how some educators are using Twitter in their classroom both face-to-face and online. This section will include a video, class-room structure, hashtags, Twitter etiquette, what to tweet, how to follow tweets, set up pedagogical structure, and assessment.For you who already have Twitter, use the hastag#TRUTECHTALK for today. For those who do not have Twitter yet and would like to try it during this session, go to and sign up. It only takes a few minutes. I will have a follow-up document prepared for Gary to share with everyone – the doc will have an outline of this session, and a bibliography so you can find research and case studies on using Twitter.You can also follow the Hashtag feed without a Twitter account on – if you have a laptop go to that website and search for #TRUTECHTALK – you will see the hashtag feed.
  • Setting up your professional account requires some considerations. Here are a few best practices to execute.List your real name whenever possible: If your real name is unavailable: it should be unique, memorable and spelled correctly and as short as possible. Be professional, reflect your role, be sure you choose a name that you can use for all your Twitter connections with your colleagues, your students. NO underscores, NO numbersChoose media, privacy levels, and other features on this page. Learn what then mean and decide what will work best for your situation. To learn more about setting up your account see: Guidelines & Best Practices on Twitter’s help page
  • List your real name: professional, easier for your colleagues to find and identify you. Cutsie is out.Profile – Link to your website, can be your Moodle, Professional blog, course pages (Libguides) etc..BIO: list role, TRU identity, use authoritative words like "official," "speaker," "expert“, “educator”, “instructor”, “biologists”, “geologist” NOTE: accounts with cutsie terms and emoticons tend to have fewer followers and are deemed unprofessional / not serious consideration for professional communityTwitter Help Centre provides clear explanations and best practices too
  • Show of hands – who has a Twitter account? Would anyone like to share how they use it? Following others? Actively tweeting? Only at conferences or an event? Rarely? Never?There is much value gained by choosing to follow others in your field, or associations, or other professional institutions. My Twitter is positioned as part of my professional brand – I am careful about who I follow and as a result I follow few. Margaret Atwood, CBC news, JianGomeshi, MalcomGladwell, CLA, ALA, RUSA, other professional librarians both academic and public, some publishers, and book resellers. I follow the New York Public Library too.There is a setting on Twitter you can choose that allows Twitter to make suggestions of whom to follow based on the web sites you visit. I found that rather off-putting as some of the websites I research are to vet for student use of professional use and often they don’t pass the CRAAP test so I really would not want to follow them. Reminder: check the various feature settings carefully and understand the consequences of choosing those features.
  • Who indeed might you follow through Twitter? With whom might you best connect to maintain a professional and credibly presence on Twitter?Consider looking for publishers, association, museums, conferences, colleagues, radio (CBC) hahaha. Following select agencies on Twitter help you keep fresh, current, and engaged in your profession, your field.How do you find others to follow?
  • There are many directories to use. Be cautious though – don’t make quick and random following choices. Vet those you find in these directories by reviewing their profiles, links to websites, verify their associations, etc. You can always un-follow later but if they are sketchy you’ve already done some damage to your reputation / credibility. Look at these directories.
  • Share links to educational websitesShare news articles related to your area of research, or instructionInvite followers to attend a conference or workshopShare online resources via social bookmarking sitesI use Hootsuite and sometimes Tweetdeck where I can set up the interface so I can follow hashtags, when people mention me, and other Twitter feeds.There is also:SeesmicTweetdeckTwhirlTweetieWhat to know some stats – percentage of view, re-tweet, mentions etc. Use some anaylizer software such as:HootsuiteRowfeederTweetstats
  • Now I will present how some educators are using Twitter in their classroom both face-to-face and online. This section will include some guidelines for best practices, how to set up a hashtag, Twitter etiquette, what to tweet, how to follow tweets, set up pedagogical structure, and assessment. For most people, Twitter is a: personalized live news stream, real-time access point to a network finding people commenting on topics of interest, tool for collecting interesting links to specific information relevant, critical and of importance to an individual user.In 2012 the Joint Information Systems Committee funded a project to explore the usefulness of Twitter as a teaching tool. Based at the University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, UK – near Cardiff not far from Bristol. The aim of the project was to explore the merits or otherwise of Twitter as a tool to scaffold learning and engage nursing students in reflection and clinical decision making. VirendraMistryLearners entering university are1) forming “sophisticated expectations” of Web 2.02)expect use to support and enhance learningFINDINGSa) Stimulated teaching staff and learners to think about new forms of interactivityb) Helped teaching staff think about alternative methods of formative assessmentc) Enabled teaching staff to better understand learning styles and preferences in ta Web 2.0 contextFundamentally, using Twitter gives students and alternate way to participate, keep thoughts focused, immediate communication, increased personal communication skills, improved collaboration with others, provided an outlet to ask questionsFor instructors: Engages learners in ways other than listening and taking notes, is an outlet to post docs, quizzes, polls, links, Backchanneling, real time conversation, allows for tracking participation,is a dynamic class activities and assignment deadlines, evaluates and assesses deep learning
  • COFA Online is an academic unit responsible for the development and management of a wide range of fully online and blended undergraduate and postgraduate courses in art and design disciplines at theCollege of Fine Arts (COFA), The University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia. I have part of a video set up for you:LubnaAlam, Lecturer, Faculty of Information Sciences and Engineering, University of CanberraInstructs a class is called “Social Infomatics” believe it is valuable to watch the entire video because she uses other Web 2.0 tools into which Twitter dovetails. 3.40 minutes into the videoPREAMBLE:Class has a face-to-face component AND an online 2.0 component where students engage with instructor and materials through Moodle, wikis, blogs, and Twitter. Lubna describes Twitter as one of the 2.0 tools that people are using to interact with each other. Lubna has integrated the external social media into the Moodle interface – the blog, Twitter, and wiki feeds are embedded into the Moodle interface. This case study examines how and why LubnaAlam from the University of Canberra used the Moodle Learning Management System (LMS) as a central hub that both provided her students with easy access to the class blogs, wiki and Twitter, and a place where information from the different technologies was amalgamated. The integration of web 2.0 technologies into the learning process is examined, highlighting how this can improve student engagement, communication and collaboration. Teaching with web 2.0 technologies: Twitter, wikis & blogs -
  • Instructors are using Twitter as a one-time class instruction tool, or embedded into Moodle course management, or as a back-channel conversation / collaboration tool. Twitter is used in both the face-to-face classroom and in the virtual classroom.When I use Twitter in the classroom, I evaluate it by asking questions in the context of pedagogical structures for delivering literacy education, such as: small group discussions, distributed group investigations, presentations, andcollective brainstorming.To Distribute InformationInstructors can send links to class materials, resources, updates, changes in venue, reminders, links to assignments, etc. It is in real time.
  • Students tweet questions, share links, respond to instructor questions . . . From this the instructor can informally assess levels of contribution and degrees of understanding – Instructor receives information
  • Twitter can be used to :Facilitate debates, comment on discussions, enable students to quickly and informally share information amongst themselves, to efficiently contribute outside links and internet resources, communicate directly with instructorAn ancillary benefit is the backchannel conversation that takes place after class between students and instructor and those students who were unable to be in class. Twitter heightens student engagement, promotes connection between students and between students and the instructor – not only during class time but outside the class room. Students support each other directing others to resources or reminders. Fosters a decentralized network where students and instructors interconnect, sharing resources and support in real time.
  • Show video first – the one from your Wordpress BlogWhile there are several considerations before executing Twitter in the classroom – privacy, security, outcomes for example. I point you to consider these two items.Determine the right Hashtag: do a search before you decide on a hashtag to see what is already is use, similar to your tag, etc. Choose one easy to remember and as close as possible to your course / class / topic. For example: #BIOL1110 #GEO2409 Enter the pound symbol (#), followed by a keyword or keyword phrase that represents the topic of the message. Hashtags can contain multiple words. For example, you might use a hashtag such as "#Fair" or "#CountyFair" for messages about a local county fair. Add the hashtag to the end of the message or in the body of the message by placing the pound symbol in front of a establish these first and foremost.
  • What policy and best practices will you put in place?Cyber bullying, anonymous reportingResponsible use agreementStudent assentConsequences – blocking, following, privacyThis is a place for focused, class specific interaction and content not a place to chat or make arrangements to meet for coffee or talk about your new jeansTweet only those comments that you would also feel comfortable saying in personFollow Grammar Girl’s Twitter Style Guide
  • As I am coming to a close, a few items to help you converse in Twitter-ease
  • Twitter does have an automatic link length reducer however, you might want to do this yourself . . . I favour because when you have a free account, you can track your links and have an archive of what you have created.
  • Studies and research are presenting strong cases for integrating Twitter and other Web 2.0 technologies into student learning. Yet, some care and thoughtfulness are required to ensure students are not overwhelmed by unnecessary or ill-considered use of technology. I hope that you will examine and explore Twitter as a professional resource and instructional tool and hope that you might be inspired to try adopting Twitter into your own teaching practice to evaluate the benefits yourself.
  • Twitter: Professional Development and Instruction

    1. 1. Centre for Student Engagement and Learning InnovationLunch & Learn: Teaching With Technology Twitter Julie Kent, Hons. B.A., M.L.I.S. Research and Instruction Librarian 10/12/2012 1
    2. 2. Today . . . Professional Resource Instructional Tool Hashtag #TRUTECHTALK Follow10/12/2012 2
    3. 3. Professional Resource • Professional • Reflect your role • Long term • Personal • Professional Best Practices: Settings 10/12/2012 3
    4. 4. Professional Resource • Real name • Which one? • List roles • TRU identity • Affiliations • Personal item Best Practices: Profile 10/12/2012 4
    5. 5. Professional Resource 10/12/2012 5
    6. 6. Professional Resource Professional Resource Whom to follow? publishersprofessional associations radio educators authors cultural colleagues events & conferences institutions 10/12/2012 6
    7. 7. Professional Resource Find & FOLLOW? Directories • WeFollow • Just Tweet It • Inside Higher Education Twitter Directory • Tweet Find • Follow Edu 10/12/2012 7
    8. 8. Professional Resource What to tweet? links tovideos posts links to your retweet “@” mentions links to conferences questions pose 10/12/2012 8
    9. 9. Instructional Tool Instructional Tool Study Results • new forms of interactivity • alternative methods of formative assessment • understand learning styles and preferences 10/12/2012 9
    10. 10. Instructional Tool Case STUDY COFA Online University of New South Wales Teaching with web 2.0 technologies: Twitter, wikis & blogs - 10/12/2012 10
    11. 11. Instructional Tool Instructor Disburse Information 10/12/2012 11
    12. 12. Instructional Tool Instructor Receive Information 10/12/2012 12
    13. 13. Instructional Tool Instructor Engage 10/12/2012 13
    14. 14. Instructional Tool Classroom set up Hashtag – carefully consider Etiquette – establish early 10/12/2012 14
    15. 15. Instructional Tool Etiquette Code of Conduct • Positive language • Supportive comments • Courtesy • Content 10/12/2012 15
    16. 16. Twitter Talk Glossary Tweet – an individual post RT – (retweet) resending someone elses tweet @username – mention or opening a message to a specific person Message – direct and private message to a follower #hastag – a tag that tracks groups and discussions Groups – allows users to place followers in a single feed 10/12/2012 16
    17. 17. Twitter Tools Shorten • • • • (has tracking) • 10/12/2012 17
    18. 18. Twitter Summary Summary • Classroom community • Tool for assessment • Create a learning experience, increased engagement • Explores language • Reference services – sharing resources via links 10/12/2012 18
    19. 19. Discussion10/12/2012 19
    20. 20. ReferencesTwitter. (2012). About / Logo & Brand. Retrieved from (2012). Guidelines and Best Practices. Retrieved from Online, University of New South Wales. Teaching with web 2.0 technologies: Twitter, wikis & blogs - Case study. Retrievedfrom Mistry, V. (2011). Critical care training: using twitter as a teaching tool. British Journal of Nursing 20 (20). Academic SearchComplete.Mollett, A., Moran, D., Dunleavy, P. (2011). Using twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities: a guide foracademics and researchers. LSE Public Policy Group.Veletsianos, G. (2012). Higher education scholars’ participation and practices on Twitter Journal of Computer Assisted Learning,28. pp 336-349.10/12/2012 20