Twitter in academia; an introduction

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An introduction to using Twitter in education for Learning at Work Day 2010

resources: http://delicious.com/Martin_King/twitter-session

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  • • it’s a very simple way to keep in touch with friends, colleagues, cohorts, customers and users • it’s a very direct, open and efficient way of reporting on conferences or projects • it offers powerful privacy settings; users can open their ‘tweets’ to ‘twitterers’ of their choosing • it can support communities of practice • it supports ‘metacognition’ – the practice of thinking and reflecting upon learning • because of the SMS-like limitations on length but a very public display, it forces twitterers to be brief and to the point - an important skill in thinking and communicating clearly.
  • Twitter in academia; an introduction

    1. 2. Session Overview <ul><li>Martin King </li></ul><ul><li>Senior Learning & Technology Officer </li></ul><ul><li>Academic Development Services </li></ul><ul><li>What is Twitter? </li></ul><ul><li>Why people use it </li></ul><ul><li>Why we might use it in support of research, teaching and learning </li></ul><ul><li>How to get the best out of Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Session resources </li></ul>Learning at work day 2010 #LAWD10 *
    2. 3. Introductions <ul><li>Who are you? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you know about Twitter? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you want to find out? </li></ul>
    3. 4. What is Twitter? <ul><li>Free, web-based service </li></ul><ul><li>Combines elements of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social networking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instant messaging </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Each user has a page and id </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://twitter.com/elswedgio </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Users can ‘follow’ other users </li></ul><ul><li>Question: ‘What are you doing?’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘Tweet’ is published to your page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users/followers can see it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users can search for content </li></ul></ul>
    4. 5. Why people use Twitter <ul><li>Connectivity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expand social / professional circles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘Eavesdropping in a cafeteria’ approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be a part of communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow the experts, influencers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Raise individual, group, project, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>university, company profiles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Simplicity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ease of set-up & use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No specific technical skills required </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uncluttered </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Micro-blogging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>140 characters encourages brevity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-intrusive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Informative </li></ul></ul>
    5. 6. How and why I use Twitter
    6. 7. Twitter in academia: communities of learners <ul><li>Economics teaching at U. of Bristol </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To supplement reading list with relevant news items </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Live, dynamic, responsive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Encouraging participation in lectures at U. of Texas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter page was projected in lecture theatre </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students tweeted their responses, thoughts, questions & feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overcame feedback lag, pace of lecture, shyness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used post-class for review and reflection </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Enhancing social presence at U. of Colorado </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students encouraged to post questions to one another and the course team, to share links and resources, to report on meetings and conferences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helped promote student involvement, commitment and retention </li></ul></ul>
    7. 8. Twitter in academia cont. <ul><li>Promoting & informing interested parties on research projects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jon Copley, University of Southampton, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>providing regular updates and photos on oceanography project in South Atlantic </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Connecting with others </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experts / colleagues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Related services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students / potential students </li></ul></ul><ul><li>‘ Backchannelling’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conference organisers use Twitter before, during and after conferences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delegates use Twitter to report live </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delegates & non-delegates can follow, interact and contribute </li></ul></ul>
    8. 9. How to get the best out of Twitter <ul><li>Personal </li></ul><ul><li>Build an account and immediately start using search function </li></ul><ul><li>Follow those with similar interests, or who interest you </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t reciprocate other followers unless you want to </li></ul><ul><li>Add a picture and a biography of yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t just tweet about yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Make it relevant </li></ul><ul><li>Define clear expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Model effective and appropriate Twitter use </li></ul><ul><li>Build Twitter activity into assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Stay active in Twitter </li></ul>

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