Universities A-Twitter

From the Chronicle February 29, 2008

http://chronicle.com/weekly/v54/i25/25a01501.htm (I think it’s expired :-( )

As iPhones and other “smart phones” become more popular on campuses, and as computing becomes even more mobile, it seems that some form of Twitter-like service may become part of student and faculty life. But the technology has potential costs in terms of money and privacy. Some observers, essentially arguing that there is such a thing as too much information, say that Twittering will never catch on the way blogs and
e-mail have.

David Parry, an assistant professor of emerging media and communications at the University of Texas at Dallas, says he was reluctant to try the technology. Mr. Parry’s first instinct was that Twittering would encourage students to speak in sound bites and self-obsess. But now he calls it “the single thing that changed the classroom dynamics more than anything I’ve ever done teaching.”

 

Last semester he required the 20 students in his “Introduction to Computer-Mediated Communication” course to sign up for Twitter and to send a few messages each week as part of a writing assignment. He also invited his students to follow his own Twitter feed, in which he sometimes writes several short thoughts – not necessarily profound ones – each day. One morning, for instance, he sent out a message that read: “Reading, prepping for grad class, putting off running until it warms up
a bit.” The week before, one of his messages included a link to a Web site he wanted his students to check out.

If you have access to the Chronicle, checkout the full article. I’m intrigued with adding Twitter to one of my courses to see how it goes over. 

Watch the video: http://chronicle.com/media/video/v54/i25/twitter/?utm_source=at&utm_medi

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2 thoughts on “Universities A-Twitter”

  1. I went ahead and did an extra credit assignment with Twitter for my undergraduate information literacy class. Mediocre response, but had about 10 students sign up and give it a whirl. The next step is to capitalize on the information sharing that takes place on Twitter and put a bit more critical thinking into the exercise. Planning on trying it again with my summer class in addition to continued use on our library home page.

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