Twitter as a quality learning tool

At the Digital Media & Composition Institute (@dmacinstitute) hosted at The Ohio State University (by Cindy Selfe and Scott DeWitt) this past week, we relied heavily on the crowd sourcing of note taking via Twitter. That was the most powerful use of Twitter I’ve seen…ever. So, I’ve been thinking: is there an equivalent way to use Twitter in my own college classrooms?

Then, thanks to Twitter, I came across an article that helps justify such an approach by Penny Bishop in The Conversation (with the awesome tag line: “academic rigor, journalistic flair”) entitled “What happens when middle schoolers take to Twitter? They become learners.”

Screenshot 2016-05-21 09.15.40.png
Penny Bishop’s “What happens when middle schoolers take to Twitter? They become learners

Ideas include:

  • offer a list of discipline-specific accounts/hashtags to follow (Any suggestions for student-friendly Twitter accounts about rhetoric and composition and writing processes on Twitter are welcome!)
  • ask students to read the posts to these accounts and to post pics, insights and questions directly to their intended audience (a much larger audience than is usually engaged)
  • distill their learning into concise messages, with an authentic audience

Now, there are challenges, of course. For example, most students aren’t avid Twitter users and may not even have an account. But, many classroom-based digital tools far less ubiquitous.

I’m still not sure, but I like the idea.

 


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