EDUCAUSE 2009 -- Tweeting the Night Away: Using Twitter to Enhance Social Presence


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To be truly effective, online learning must facilitate the social process of learning. This involves providing space and opportunities for students and faculty to engage in social activities. Although learning management systems offer several tools that support social learning and student engagement, the scope, structure, and functionality of those tools can inhibit and restrain just-in-time social connections and interactions. In this presentation, we describe our use of Twitter to encourage freeflowing just-in-time interactions and how these interactions can enhance social presence in online courses.

Joni Dunlap
Patrick Lowenthal

Published in: Education, Technology
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  • Trying to communicate with students using the LMS requires several steps…
  • Twitter ended up being the tool I selected for accomplishing the day-to-day informal chit-chat I was looking for with students (for social presence purposes).
  • Regardless of what you are doing…
  • Next several slides provide actual examples of what students got out of being on Twitter (with me last fall).
  • EDUCAUSE 2009 -- Tweeting the Night Away: Using Twitter to Enhance Social Presence

    1. 1. Tweetingthe Night Away<br />Joni Dunlap | | Twitter: @jonidunlapPatrick Lowenthal | | Twitter: @plowenthal<br />
    2. 2. The Problem<br />
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    4. 4.
    5. 5. What are you doing?<br />What are you doing?<br />
    6. 6.
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    8. 8. Rules of engagement<br />140 characters = tweet<br />Following vs. followers<br />Public vs. individual<br />Public vs. private<br />“#6710” “#obama” “#photography”<br />
    9. 9. Twitter in ActionUse Presentation Mode to view, Click this header to give mouse control back to PowerPoint, change slide, etc.<br />© SAP 2009 / Page 9<br />
    10. 10. A student has a question about the chapter on multimodal learning. She immediately tweets her question to the Twitter community, and gets three responses within ten minutes—two responses from classmates, and one from her professor. This leads to several subsequent posts, including comments from two practicing professionals. <br />
    11. 11. A student working on an assignment is wondering about embedding music into a presentation. He tweets a question and gets a response from his professor and a practicing professional. Both point the student to different resourcesthat explain how to embed music and provide examples to deconstruct. Within a half hour, the student has embedded music in his presentation. <br />
    12. 12. A student finds a great video about storyboarding on YouTube and posts the URL to Twitter. Her find is retweeted three times because others also think the video is great and worth sharing. <br />
    13. 13. A student tweets that he just posted a new entry to his blog on how vision trumps all other senses during instruction and provides the URL. His classmates, as well as other practicing professionals, read his blog post. He receives three tweets thanking him for sharing his ideas. <br />
    14. 14. As part of a research project on legacy systems, a student poses a question to the Twitter community regarding the prevalent need for COBOL programmers. She receives responses from several IT professionals, some with links to helpful resources and contacts that can help her with research.<br />
    15. 15. A student tweets that she is tired and going off to bed. She receives two tweets back from classmates wishing her a good night.<br />
    16. 16. Other instructional benefits<br />Addressing student issues in a timely manner<br />Writing concisely<br />Writing for an audience<br />Connecting with community of practice<br />Supporting informal learning<br />Maintaining on-going relationships<br />
    17. 17. Guidelinesfor instructional use<br />Establish relevance for students<br />Define clear expectations for participation<br />Model effective Twitter use<br />Recommend people to follow<br />Build Twitter-derived results into assessments<br />Continue to actively participate in Twitter<br />
    18. 18. “Twitter has been a great way for me to check in with everyone who is using it.<br />I found out how other’s were feeling about school, how life was treating them, how their jobs and families were doing.<br />This is something much more intimate than mandatory weekly discussions...”<br />
    19. 19. Follow us on Twitter<br />Joni Dunlap | Twitter: @jonidunlap<br />Patrick Lowenthal | Twitter: @plowenthal<br />Paper Available<br />Presentation Available<br />