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Can Twitter be used to engage students?
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Can Twitter be used to engage students?

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Slides of a short talk that I gave at the Higher Education Academy workshop on innovative approaches to student engagement

Slides of a short talk that I gave at the Higher Education Academy workshop on innovative approaches to student engagement

Published in: Technology
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  • 1. CAN TWITTER BE AN EFFECTIVE TOOL IN STUDENT ENGAGEMENT? NADIA AMIN & PHIL SAINTER WESTMINSTER BUSINESS SCHOOL (BUSINESS INFORMATION MANAGEMENT & OPERATIONS) HEA ICS WORKSHOP ON INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO STUDENTS ENGAGEMENT UNIVERSITY OF HERTFORDSHIRE, 23 JUNE 2010.
  • 2. 2
  • 3. CONTENTS • What is Twitter? • Twitter use in HE • Our experience • Recommendations • Conclusions 3
  • 4. WHAT IS TWITTER? • a micro-blogging social network to share content via short messages • Used by businesses, celebrities and media • A post (tweet) is a 140-character message • You can ‘follow’ people, and they can ‘follow’ you too • You can protect tweets (privacy option) • You can create lists and follow others’ lists 4
  • 5. Source: http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/ 5
  • 6. TWITTER ACCOUNT Num. of Num. of following followers Account Your name & Bio photo Number of tweets Your followers Tweet 6
  • 7. TWITTER BASICS • Tweets: 140-character message • @replies: @anelkaofficiel • RT (retweets): RT@anelkaofficiel • Hashtags (#): #worldcup, #eng • Direct messages: DM @anelkaofficiel • Link shorteners for long URL: tinyurl.com, bit.ly • Photo publishing: twitpic.com 7
  • 8. TWITTER TOOLS • Twitter Software – Twitteriffic, TweetDeck, Hootsuite, Seeismic • Twitter Mobile Applications – for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Blackberry, Nokia, SonyEricsson. • Backup and utility tools – Usage Statistics : Twittercounter, TwitterGrader – Backup: TwapperKeeper, Twazzup, RSS feeds 8
  • 9. TWEETDECK www.tweetdeck.com 9
  • 10. USING TWITTER IN CLASS • Announcement board • Collaboration • Backchannelling • Crowdsourcing • Twitter polls 10
  • 11. THE TWITTER EXPERIMENT: DR RANKIN UT DALLAS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WPVWDkF7U8&feature=related 11
  • 12. OUR PILOT EXPERIMENT: • 20 students on “Digital Revolution” module • Students asked to follow the tutor, each other and others for one semester • Twitter training was provided to all students (only three were ‘experts’) • Students invited to tweet on the subject • Students asked to write a reflective statement at the end 12
  • 13. STUDENTS FEEDBACK ON TWITTER USE • Quick, delivers messages • Takes time from studies to faster (viral effect) maintain the account • Excellent message dashboard • Does not replace email or VLE for class communication and • Integration with SMS costly feedback • Does not replace face-to-face • Easy to use and learn contacts • Improves the community feel • Dealing with twitter spam within the group • Information overload • Gives access to new sources • Privacy aspect and contacts • Can be integrated with • Requires motivation to use by Facebook some, but can become addictive for others • Gives all students equal voice 13
  • 14. RECOMMENDATIONS • Teaching Activities – What is the reason of using twitter ? – What teaching or learning activity it will support? – Device assignments that make use of twitter – Encourage twitter use by awarding marks, rewards for best tweets, etc. • Tutor’s use and motivations – Familiarise yourself with twitter tools and etiquette – Be proactive in ‘twitterspace’ – Combine with other tools if possible: Email, Moodle, Facebook – Personal twitter account vs dedicated module name account • Provide students with training, guides and support . 14
  • 15. USEFUL ON-LINE SOURCES • The Twitter Guide by Mashable http://mashable.com/guidebook/twitter/ • The Ultimate Twitter Guidebook For Teachers http://edudemic.com/2010/06/the-ultimate-twitter-guidebook/ 15
  • 16. http://hootcourse.com/ 16
  • 17. USEFUL TECH-EDUCATORS TO FOLLOW • @courosa: Alec Couros, Regina • @drbexl: Bex Lewis, Winchester • @timbuckteeth: Steve Wheeler, Portsmouth • @jamesclay: James Clay, Gloucestershire • @russell1955: Russell Stannard, Westminster • @hopkinsdavid: David Hopkins, Bournemouth 17
  • 18. CONCLUSIONS • If used in the right context, twitter can engage students • It is a free and easy to use platform with plethora of tools • We aim to conduct a larger pilot in 2010-11 – more staff and students on several modules – examine pedagogical implications 18

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