Twitter in the Classroom

David Silver writes:

this semester, twitter is the main mode of communication used by my students and me. twitter has replaced at least three classroom technologies, and has streamlined our outside-the-classroom conversations and collaborations.

twitter has replaced the class listserv. for years, i’ve used a listserv (alternatively called a mailing list or discussion list) to extend our discussions beyond the classroom. these days, when we want to continue conversations, the 12 students in DMP, the 17 students in ESF, and i use twitter.

twitter has replaced email announcements. in the past, if something’s come up, or i want to add a reading, or we have a location change, i would send all the students in class an email. these days, when i have something to announce, or when my students have something to announce, we use twitter.

twitter has replaced the cardboard box i used to bring to class on due dates. in the past, my students would print out their papers and bring them to class; i’d collect them in a box and take them back to the office to grade. these days, my students write blogs, design flickr sets, upload vidoe, and post works-in-progress. when finished, they tweet about it so that i – and, more importantly, their peers – can check it out.

We’re doing similar in LIS768. Follow along  here: Feel free to chime in!

18 thoughts on “Twitter in the Classroom”

  1. A great and interesting use of the Twitter.

    Having examples of how other people use Twitter when you’re not sure of its worth is a way to “get” why/how people use it. Sometimes it’s not if we value it but rather who values it.


  2. I am going to be a contrarian and also ask some honest questions. There’s too much twitter fanboy behavior. I can’t take it anymore.

    I have a feeling that the engaged and interesting teachers are the ones that use twitter. If you did not use twitter or other online stuff, you’d be the kind of teacher that engages anyway. Back in the day we sang, spoke, wrote, danced, did play-acting…we have a full range of social tools and cultural exploits we can exercise outside of electronics. Or are you directing instruction to large masses – maybe doing this with distance education? Which starts to make it more important.
    And I don’t know how everybody else feels – but is there relief from the constant contact? I get this picture that the work never ends now. Somebody will have to make the excuse that the smartphone and the computer both landed in the swamp to be able to disconnect from everything.
    Maybe it starts to be beneficial to changing the system if all teachers are pressured to use blogs/twitter/facebook – freshening up some of the zombies?? Is that what is happening along the way? The dead teachers are quitting or getting on board?

  3. I like your thoughts, Carol. Remember we’re at the front end of the revolution here! Social networking has huge ramifications for educating in bulk as you point out and is a great way to get boys engaged in an ordinary classroom (and girls more competent with e-technology). I think we have to be revitalised and get better at using these technologies ourselves or – yes – might be time to move on.

  4. Can only guess the mailing list was unused–a really useful mailing list is unlikely to be replaced by 140 character tweets.

    Announcements, blah, so what? It’s just admin cruft.

    Write blogs, upload video…. is anybody learning anything? Glad I got my Computer Science degree in 93, before all this crap.

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