Twitter is often described as a micro-blogging platform or as a type of social network – it is both and more. Post are limited to 140 characters. It is used for marketing, promotion, searching for information, asking questions, topical discussions, sharing links and media, or just lurking. Its not exactly real-time, but it is always on and can be used for instant messaging. Like attending a party where everyone is invited. You can choose whether to work the room, listen in or join conversations - or start up your own.
Twitter can be engaging – some have described it as habit-forming or addictive. The power of presence is what makes Twitter so compelling and this can be translated into engaging interactivity when applied to education.
In the Junco, Heibergert, and Loken article in the Aug 2010 Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, researchers found that students using Twitter had significantly higher Engagement scores as well as higher achievement scores. There are numerous studies that show increased student engagement translates to greater student success. That is not to say using Twitter in your class will automatically mean students are more engaged – the activities need to be well thought out and relevant to the course learning outcomes. Student also require orientation to the technology.
Some activities which may apply to a wide range of disciplines focus on class and group discussion, research, and sharing of resources.
Mark Sample, who writes for the profhacker blog for The Chronicle “adapted Rick (Reo’s) original matrix, re-imagining the vertical axis as a spectrum of conversation, ranging from monologic to dialogic, and redefining the horizontal axis as a measurement of student activity, ranging from passive to active. After some other changes based on my experience with Twitter, I ended up with this revised Twitter Adoption Matrix (larger image):”
Quantitative assessment would be similar to how we assess online discussion activities: Set minimum standards (e.g. 10 tweets per week, post at least 2 or 2 tweets per day, reply to all mentions, share resources, contribute to bibliography, etc. – mostly number and frequencyQualitative values:posts were timely, relevant, substantive, insightful, etc. These could be yes/no, or likert with values attached (strongly agree- 5, agree - 3, disagree -1, strongly disagree -0).
Poll attendees – how many already have a Twitter account? How do people use Twitter? News, follow people, follow topics, post, share/re-tweet, etc.
Send ON Username (without quotes or brackets) to the shortcode for your area.For example, to get @SchauerTime's updates using only a phone in the US, send ON Schauertime to 40404.
Blackboard course, edit mode on, course documents, build blank page, html paste, submit
Twitter for Teaching & Learning
Using Twitter in the Virtual Classroom<br />Bill Knapp, Dean<br />Learning Technologies<br />Lakeland Community College<br />CC-BY-NC-SA, by svartling<br />
What is Twitter?<br />“Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting. Simply find the public streams you find most compelling and follow the conversations.”<br />http://twitter.com/about<br />
Twitter for Teaching and Learning<br />Case Study: <br />The Twitter Experiment: UT Dallas<br />http://youtu.be/6WPVWDkF7U8<br />http://www.utdallas.edu/~mrankin/usweb/twitterconclusions.htm<br />Research:<br />Junco, R., Heiberger, G. and Loken, E. (2011), The effect of Twitter on college student engagement and grades. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 27: 119–132. <br />
Assessing Twitter Activities<br />Share a news article, webpage, re-tweet posts relevant to our discussion <br />Frequency of messages (every day)<br />Total number of messages ( e.g. 10 per week)<br />Replying to others who “mentioned” you<br />Mentioning others in tweets (having to do with something they tweeted) <br />Asking pertinent questions for the class to respond to<br />Evaluate / comment on resources: articles, tweets by experts<br />Create #hashtags and/or lists for others to follow<br />
Getting Started<br />https://twitter.com/<br />Getting acquainted – what’s here?<br />Setting up an account<br />email address for each account<br />