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AECT 2009 Using Twitter to Enhance Social Presence in Online Learning

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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 free-flowing just-in-time interactions and how these interactions can enhance social presence in online courses. We describe this in more detail in the following paper:

Dunlap, J. C., & Lowenthal, P. R. (2009). Tweeting the night away: Using Twitter to enhance social presence. Journal of Information Systems Education, 20(2), 129-136.
Available at: http://tinyurl.com/OurTwitterPaper

Published in: Education, Technology
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AECT 2009 Using Twitter to Enhance Social Presence in Online Learning

  1. 1. Twitter me timbers!<br />A pirate’s journey for<br />social networking’s buried treasure<br />Joni Dunlap | joni.dunlap@ucdenver.edu | Twitter: @jonidunlapPatrick Lowenthal | patrick.lowenthal@ucdenver.edu | Twitter: @plowenthal<br />
  2. 2. Learning is a very human activity.<br /> The more people feel they are being<br />treated as human beings<br />—that their human needs are being taken into account—<br /> the more they are likely to learn and learn to learn.<br />(Knowles, 1990, pp. 129)<br />
  3. 3. Learning is a very human activity.<br /> The more people feel they are being<br />treated as human beings<br />—that their human needs are being taken into account—<br /> the more they are likely to learn and learn to learn.<br />(Knowles, 1990, pp. 129)<br />Online<br />
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  9. 9. What are you doing?<br />
  10. 10. What are you doing?<br />What are you doing?<br />
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  13. 13. Rules of engagement<br />140 characters = tweet<br />Following vs. followers<br />Public vs. individual<br />Public vs. private<br />“#6710” “#obama” “#photography”<br />
  14. 14. Twitter in ActionUse Presentation Mode to view, Click this header to give mouse control back to PowerPoint, change slide, etc.<br />© SAP 2009 / Page 14<br />
  15. 15. Instantaneous<br />Organic<br />Informal<br />Free-flowing<br />Real<br />Perpetual<br />Just in Time<br />Natural<br />
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  17. 17. 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 />
  18. 18. 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 />
  19. 19. A student sends a private tweetto the professor regarding a difficult situation with a project team member. While in the middle of a meeting, the professor immediately tweets back, arranging a time to talk with the student outside of Twitter.<br />
  20. 20. A student cannot believe what she has just heard on the news regarding federal funding of higher education and needs to share.She tweets her comment, and immediately connects with others who cannot believe it either. <br />
  21. 21. 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 />
  22. 22. While away at a conference, the professor tweets various updates about what she is hearing and seeing at the conference. <br />
  23. 23. 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 />
  24. 24. 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 />
  25. 25. 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 />
  26. 26. 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 />
  27. 27. 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 />
  28. 28. Consof Twitter<br />Time<br />Control over public-ness<br />You get what you put in<br />
  29. 29. “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 />
  30. 30. “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 />X<br />
  31. 31. Follow us on Twitter<br />Joni Dunlap | Twitter: @jonidunlap<br />Patrick Lowenthal | Twitter: @plowenthal<br />Paper Available http://tinyurl.com/OurTwitterPaper<br />Presentation Availablehttp://www.slideshare.net/plowenthal<br />

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