Using Twitter to Engage Students in Scholarly Discourse

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1. Using Twitter to Engage Students in Scholarly Discourse Justin M. Davis University of Wisconsin-Parkside Instructional Technologist, Learning Technology Center Lecturer, Institute of Professional Educator Development : Virtual Showcase April 9, 2015 2. Why Twitter? 1. Twitter is used significantly more by UW-Parksides demographic. Adults ages 18-29, African Americans, urban residents (Pew Research Center, 2012) 2. Analyses of Twitter communications showed that students and faculty were both highly engaged in the learning process in ways that transcended traditional classroom activities (Junco, Heiberger, & Loken, 2011). 3. One study showed Twitter extended class conversations beyond sessions; students more easily and readily displayed openness about feelings and their own shortcomings. Also, more cross-communication took place and unlikely interpersonal relationships were forged based on values and interests (Kassens-Noor, 2012). 3. Why Twitter? 4. Members of the net generation use the web differently, they network differently, and they learn differently. When they start at university, traditional values on how to develop knowledge collide with their values. Many of the teaching techniques that have worked for decades do not work anymore because new students learn differently too. The net generation is used to networking; its members work collaboratively, they execute several tasks simultaneously, and they use the web to acquire knowledge. (Ulbrich et al., 2011) 5. Social media implementation in university setting implies a degree of user driven education-that is, allowing users to take a more active role in what, when and how they learn (Selwyn, 2012). 4. Make it work in D2L Create a WIDGET Why create a Widget on the course homepage? 1. Creates equity for all stakeholders. The engagement does NOT have to be on Twitter. Information can be shared through Twitter and discussed in discussion forums in D2L. 2. Keeps students engaged in your HOMEPAGE. Creates a one-stop shop for all course materials and informationless confusion. 5. Make it work in D2L Creating the WIDGET Click the above image to view the instructions on how to add a Twitter widget to your D2L course homepage. 6. Syllabus and Expectations + STRATEGY Choice Twitter Article Discussion: Literature Circles A literature circle is equivalent to a book club. The aim is to encourage student-choice and a love of reading! Literature circles were first implemented in 1982 by Karen Smith, an elementary school teacher in Phoenix, Arizona and are now part of active and engaged learning environments across the United States. Tweet relevant articles with a class hashtag: #uwpedu100 The chosen articles come from a variety of sources and are intended to promote deeper thought, analysis and connection to concurrent class discussions and text-based readings. 7. Syllabus and Expectations + STRATEGY The intent is to provide students with additional readings that are short and thought- provoking. By doing this, students develop skills in sharing and articulating their opinions and ideas. My goal is to create an expectation and a framework for students to analyze, interpret and synthesize information to allow for them to get more fully engaged in not only what is relevant to the field but what is interesting and useful to them in their own practice. Potential sources: Educause, Edsurge, NY Times, Edudemic, Edweek, U.S. News and World Report, THE Journal 8. Syllabus and Expectations + STRATEGY Why have literature circles (a reading strategy)? Bring it back to class! Students choose their own reading materials thus are motivated to read; Small groups formed based on choice and provide students an opportunity to participate; Discussion topics come from the students as the teacher serves as facilitator, observer, listener, and reader alongside the studentsthe teacher is not the instructor; Like a book club, each group creates a community and a spirit of discovery and playfulness as they analyze their choice Twitter Article together. 9. Syllabus and Expectations + STRATEGY So how does it work? Twitter Articles: During the semester students are responsible for reading and reporting back on 5 articles found on the Twitter feed on the D2L homepage. Articles will be posted daily but students will only have to report on 5 of their choosing. This gives students the opportunity to find something they connect with. They will then report to the class on the article they chose via the discussion board in D2L. In their discussion thread, they are to tell the class what article they chose (cited in APA), why they chose that particular article, and how we all can incorporate the ideas or philosophies in our own classrooms; make connections to the readings and class discussions. They are to create relevance and connect the ideas to their own experience. 10. Syllabus and Expectations + STRATEGY So how does it work? Literature Circles: During the weeks after the discussion threads are due, students will gather in class and form literature circles. They will be grouped by the choice articles they chose to analyze. In their groups, they will discuss and compare their interpretations of the chosen reading. They will then synthesize new ideas that will constitute as strategies to be applied in their own classrooms and in their concurrent field experience. Finally, these strategies will be presented to the whole group for additional discussion. 11. References Duggan, M., & Brenner, J. (2013). The demographics of social media users, 2012 (Vol. 14). Washington, DC: Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project. Junco, R., Heiberger, G., & Loken, E. (2011). The effect of Twitter on college student engagement and grades. Journal of computer assisted learning, 27(2), 119-132. Kassens-Noor, E. (2012). Twitter as a teaching practice to enhance active and informal learning in higher education: The case of sustainable tweets. Active Learning in Higher Education, 13(1), 9-21. Liu, Y., Kliman-Silver, C., & Mislove, A. (2014, May). The tweets they are a-changin: Evolution of twitter users and behavior. In International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM) (Vol. 13, p. 55). Selwyn, N. (2012). Social media in higher education. The Europa world of learning. Ulbrich, F., Jahnke, I. and Martensson, P. (2011). Special issue on knowledge development and the net generation. International Journal of Sociotechnology and Knowledge Development. 12. @ Justin_JD_Davis Justin M. Davis University of Wisconsin-Parkside Learning Technology Center Phone: 262-595-2382 QUESTIONS?