As the Tweety Bird Flies: Using
Twitter for Research (and Education)
Barbara Z. Johnson
What is Twitter???
Twitter is …
 Microblogging
 Arranged chronologically
 Broadcast (one to unlimited number of people)
 Self published
...
General Process
 Create a Twitter account (www.twitter.com)
 Follow some friends
 Write some updates = you tweet!
 Che...
Useful for??
 Spreading news and short updates
 Sharing links
 Nice back channel for events, workshops, and even
classr...
Some more terms
 Following – someone chooses to include your tweets
in their main feed
 Mentions/replies – someone inclu...
You Choose
 What to share about yourself
 What to write
 Who to follow
 How to get updates (web page, smart phone, des...
Safety and control
 Can block people and prevent them from following
you
 Choose to show location or not
 Write your ow...
Twitter for Research
 Record short and frequent observations
 Replaces a notebook or journal
 Saved on the internet
 D...
Case Study
 “Where Do You Learn?”: Tweeting to Inform Learning
Space Development by Elizabeth J. Aspden and
Louise P. Tho...
Advantages
 Quick to learn
 Can tweet from anywhere using a variety of input
devices and software
 Records immediate im...
Related Services
 TwitPic – share photos on Twitter
 Ethnographic exploration of a location
 TweetStats – graphical vis...
Disadvantages
 Twitter not as fine grained in finding location as
some newer services like Foursquare
 Students might wa...
Twitter for Education
 Record short and frequent observations
 For self reflection later
 Documentation of a phenomenon...
For further exploration
 Twitter as a learning tool by Rick Reo
http://www.scribd.com/doc/20769928/Rick-Reo-s-
Twitter-Ad...
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As the Twitty Bird Flies: Using Twitter for Research (and Education)

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As the Twitty Bird Flies: Using Twitter for Research (and Education)

  1. 1. As the Tweety Bird Flies: Using Twitter for Research (and Education) Barbara Z. Johnson
  2. 2. What is Twitter???
  3. 3. Twitter is …  Microblogging  Arranged chronologically  Broadcast (one to unlimited number of people)  Self published  Unedited, democratic, free-for-all  140 characters per entry  Free  Open  Multiple platforms and programs can access and post
  4. 4. General Process  Create a Twitter account (www.twitter.com)  Follow some friends  Write some updates = you tweet!  Check in on the stream of information periodically  Search for particular topics  Similar to  Facebook and MySpace status updates but with less baggage  Foursquare
  5. 5. Useful for??  Spreading news and short updates  Sharing links  Nice back channel for events, workshops, and even classrooms  What’s a back channel??  A way for an audience to communicate with each other during a presentation and/or feed questions and comments to the presenter to address during a break
  6. 6. Some more terms  Following – someone chooses to include your tweets in their main feed  Mentions/replies – someone includes your Twitter account name and the “@” sign  Retweets – someone “forwards” your tweet to THEIR list of followers  Hashtags (#) – categorizes tweets into groups related to a subject  Lists – Curated lists by users to group other users – may be public or private
  7. 7. You Choose  What to share about yourself  What to write  Who to follow  How to get updates (web page, smart phone, desktop feed)
  8. 8. Safety and control  Can block people and prevent them from following you  Choose to show location or not  Write your own description of yourself  May choose not to use a picture of yourself  Too many tweets? Off topic tweets? Off color tweets?  Stop following that person or group  Report the person or group  Don’t have tweets sent to smart phone  Use search and follow lists rather than people
  9. 9. Twitter for Research  Record short and frequent observations  Replaces a notebook or journal  Saved on the internet  Does not need to be typed up  Accessible by researcher real time without waiting for students to hand in materials  May include pictures (See TwitPic)  Use the List feature to collect the tweets of participants or students  Participants tweet directly to a dedicated account (@)
  10. 10. Case Study  “Where Do You Learn?”: Tweeting to Inform Learning Space Development by Elizabeth J. Aspden and Louise P. Thorpe (2009)  15 students over 2 weeks  Frequent notation of where they were studying  Comments about why they chose that place, what they were doing, etc.  Longer, weekly summaries using traditional media  Final reflective piece  Participants directly tweeted to dedicated account
  11. 11. Advantages  Quick to learn  Can tweet from anywhere using a variety of input devices and software  Records immediate impressions  Many phones can determine where they are  Short messages tagged with date stamp – easier for researcher to code - concise  Students can review tweets for reflection  Observers can see raw data
  12. 12. Related Services  TwitPic – share photos on Twitter  Ethnographic exploration of a location  TweetStats – graphical visualization of tweet trends for a user name  Numerical way to track habits of research participants  140Kit – a way to do data mining on Twitter users or search terms  Bit.ly – shortens long URLs  So you don’t eat up 140 characters with the link itself
  13. 13. Disadvantages  Twitter not as fine grained in finding location as some newer services like Foursquare  Students might want to create a user name just for the study if they don’t want to mix school with social content
  14. 14. Twitter for Education  Record short and frequent observations  For self reflection later  Documentation of a phenomenon  Class analysis of field observations or social trends in their own data  May include pictures (See TwitPic)  Use data mining and analysis on public data to teach concepts  Class polling  Class back channel for on task side discussions  Class discussion outside of class hours  Office hours or quick questions
  15. 15. For further exploration  Twitter as a learning tool by Rick Reo http://www.scribd.com/doc/20769928/Rick-Reo-s- Twitter-Adoption-Assessment-Tool  “Where Do You Learn?”: Tweeting to Inform Learning Space Development by Aspden and Thorpe http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE%2BQuarterly /EDUCAUSEQuarterlyMagazineVolum/WhereDoYou LearnTweetingtoInfor/163852

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