Can Twitter be used to engage students?
Slides of a short talk that I gave at the Higher Education Academy workshop on innovative approaches to student engagement
1.CAN TWITTER BE AN EFFECTIVE TOOL IN STUDENT ENGAGEMENT?NADIA AMIN & PHIL SAINTER WESTMINSTER BUSINESS SCHOOL (BUSINESS INFORMATION MANAGEMENT & OPERATIONS) HEA ICS WORKSHOP ON INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO STUDENTS ENGAGEMENT UNIVERSITY OF HERTFORDSHIRE, 23 JUNE 2010. 2. 2 3. CONTENTS What is Twitter? Twitter use in HE Our experience Recommendations Conclusions 3 4. WHAT IS TWITTER? a micro-blogging social network to share content via short messages Used by businesses, celebrities and media A post (tweet) is a 140-character message You can follow people, and they can follow you too You can protect tweets (privacy option) You can create lists and follow others lists4 5. Source: http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/5 6. TWITTER ACCOUNT Num. of Num. of following followersAccount Your name & Bio photoNumber of tweets Yourfollowers Tweet6 7. TWITTER BASICS Tweets: 140-character message @replies: @anelkaofficiel RT (retweets): RT@anelkaofficiel Hashtags (#): #worldcup, #eng Direct messages: DM @anelkaofficiel Link shorteners for long URL: tinyurl.com, bit.ly Photo publishing: twitpic.com 7 8. TWITTER TOOLS Twitter Software Twitteriffic, TweetDeck, Hootsuite, Seeismic Twitter Mobile Applications for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Blackberry, Nokia, SonyEricsson. Backup and utility tools Usage Statistics : Twittercounter, TwitterGrader Backup: TwapperKeeper, Twazzup, RSS feeds 8 9. TWEETDECK www.tweetdeck.com 9 10. USING TWITTER IN CLASS Announcement board Collaboration Backchannelling Crowdsourcing Twitter polls10 11. THE TWITTER EXPERIMENT: DR RANKIN UT DALLAShttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WPVWDkF7U8&feature=related 11 12. OUR PILOT EXPERIMENT: 20 students on Digital Revolution module Students asked to follow the tutor, each other and others for one semester Twitter training was provided to all students (only three were experts) Students invited to tweet on the subject Students asked to write a reflective statement at the end 12 13. STUDENTS FEEDBACK ON TWITTER USE Quick, delivers messages Takes time from studies to faster (viral effect)maintain the account Excellent message dashboard Does not replace email or VLE for class communication and Integration with SMS costly feedback Does not replace face-to-face Easy to use and learncontacts Improves the community feel Dealing with twitter spam within the group Information overload Gives access to new sources Privacy aspect and contacts Can be integrated with Requires motivation to use by Facebook some, but can becomeaddictive for others Gives all students equal voice 13 14. RECOMMENDATIONS Teaching Activities What is the reason of using twitter ? What teaching or learning activity it will support? Device assignments that make use of twitter Encourage twitter use by awarding marks, rewards for besttweets, etc. Tutors use and motivations Familiarise yourself with twitter tools and etiquette Be proactive in twitterspace Combine with other tools if possible: Email, Moodle, Facebook Personal twitter account vs dedicated module name account Provide students with training, guides and support .14 15. USEFUL ON-LINE SOURCES The Twitter Guide by Mashablehttp://mashable.com/guidebook/twitter/ The Ultimate Twitter Guidebook For Teachers http://edudemic.com/2010/06/the-ultimate-twitter-guidebook/ 15 16. http://hootcourse.com/16 17. USEFUL TECH-EDUCATORS TO FOLLOW @courosa: Alec Couros, Regina @drbexl: Bex Lewis, Winchester @timbuckteeth: Steve Wheeler, Portsmouth @jamesclay: James Clay, Gloucestershire @russell1955: Russell Stannard, Westminster @hopkinsdavid: David Hopkins, Bournemouth 17 18. CONCLUSIONS If used in the right context, twitter can engage students It is a free and easy to use platform with plethora of tools We aim to conduct a larger pilot in 2010-11 more staff and students on several modules examine pedagogical implications 18