First, a disclaimer: I make no claim to know what I’m talking about. I have never used twitter, and am looking at it to consider whether I should bother or not. My initial reaction is “Oh no, not another thing to get my head round” but maybe I can be persuaded that there is more than first appears. I’ll try to answer a few of my own questions as I go along, but please scream at me if you feel I’ve got it all wrong!
What’s the point of Twitter?
According to http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/10-ways-to-use-twitter-in-education/ Twitter has carious uses in an educational setting:
- Teachers can connect to their students on a wider level as well as on a personal level.
- Interactions can be taken beyond the classroom as Twitter is omnipresent in our smartphones and laptops.
- Twitter allows for customization of learning depending on the student i.e. differentiating learning for different students.
- Twitter can be used to quickly connect to multimedia resources (e.g. YouTube or Vine) and turn education into edutainment.
- Twitter gives new opportunities to connect to other learning communities and new educational content.
- The very nature of Twitter – brief and to-the-point makes for rapid broadcast of learning.
How can I do all that in 140 characters?
- Apparently I could use Twitter for conversation after class (can’t I do that on Moodle and have one less thing to worry about?)
- I can set up quizzes and send out notices to students (see above point re. Moodle)
- I can refer students to useful websites, and encourage them to follow their own areas of interest (see above point re. Moodle)
- I could set up a newspaper, like “The Tweeted Times” (this at least seems worthy of consideration as an EFL tutor)
- Twitter games like Outwit Me or Artwiculate to engage students with English in a fun way. (this also might be worth looking at)
Should I do it?
It seems as if I wold have to dedicate lots of time to setting myself up on Twitter. What can it offer me and my students that a combination of Moodle/email can’t?
I remain sceptical – but open to persuasion if you can show me how it works in practice!
On this blog you will find posts from Phil, Lauren, Suzy and Aleks, the TEL team, but we also welcome contributions from other YSJ staff and students on the matter of Technology Enhanced Learning and Digital Capability. If you would like to contribute to this blog then please contact the TEL team: TEL@yorksj.ac.uk