My syllabus says to use Twitter

My syllabus says to use Twitter

Written by: Komail Mithani

April 1, 2010 4:51 am 0 comments

As I am thinking about different ways social media may be implemented in the classroom, one common tool always comes to mind, Twitter. That wonderful blue bird makes me think how its popularity can be a helpful resource in the classroom and for professors.

Here is how I imagine Twitter being used in the classroom.

First of all, the professor has to set up an account for his or her class. During class, the professor can ask his or her students to send them a tweet if they come up with a certain question about the topic discussed during lecture. The professor doesn’t necessarily have to have Twitter up during class, but can check if any questions come in for that lecture and answer them the proper way. The professor can either respond to each question by sending a mass email to the class or tweeting a response. Also, the professor can have a fundamental understanding of how their students are doing in the course and what topics they need to primarily focus on.

This has two advantages for the student. One is, if the student is shy or maybe he or she doesn’t have the courage to ask a question in a 200+ person class, they have the ability to tweet it directly to the professor. Secondly, students with similar questions can find their answers tweeted by the professor, so tedious emails aren’t filling up everyone’s Inbox, especially before a test. Another advantage for using Twitter, is that classmates can easily communicate with one another about class projects, lectures, assignments, or homework. Twitter, in essence, forces students to start talking to each other in order to find a solution to their problems and not automatically running straight to the professor for answers.

Another important part of Twitter, is the use of hash tags. The same way hash tags are currently used to indicate an event or memory; the same philosophy can transpire to an individual class. For example, if a student was frustrated with a certain homework assignment, they may add #ut #fin320f to the end of their tweet. Like this example:

Breaking it down to school and specific class will help others locate each other and hopefully help one another out. Now, you would probably want to tell your classmates what hash tags you use so they can search for them, but again this could also decrease email clutter and become a helpful source to those students in the same classroom. In addition, this could be a way for those students thinking about taking a certain class to see exactly what kind of workload it has and what it would take to make a decent grade.

Do you think Twitter would help you in a certain course, or if you’ve graduated, would it have been a useful resource?