The use of Twitter in Education
In this video blog entry “The use of Twitter in education is discussed” based on the website http://www.emergingedtech.com/2010/10/more-than-a-third-of-higher-education-faculty-are-on-twitter/.
On the website the post relating to “100 ways to teach with Twitter” is the most popular. Twitter has more than 100 million users, with over 300,000 new users signing up every day. Usually there is a bit of a lag in terms of the adoption of new technologies in education and it is thus surprising that this particular post is receiving so much attention. A study was done asking educators the question “Do you use Twitter?” and thus study revealed that 30.7% in 2009 and then 35.2% in 2010 answered “yes I use it” thus showing a 4.5% increase.
The two main reasons educators are using Twitter is to share information with peers and as a real time news source. The use of Twitter in the classroom as a learning tool is not as popular, but is growing.
There are opposing views on using Twitter in the classroom – some people are for, and others against the use of this technology.
Upon my initial viewing of this video I was found the content interesting. I do not use Twitter, and if fact only signed up as part of the PIDP course. The statistics mentioned regarding the number of Twitter users is somewhat staggering.
I think for us this means that we could explore the use of Twitter as a learning tool. But I believe that this is only possible in a classroom where all the students are voluntarily signed up to Twitter and it should not be a pre-requisite as part of a course. I think that other tools such as blogging are more effective as a learning tool in that it encourages more detailed communication. Posting something on Twitter is usually just one sentence and can show an idea or opinion, but there is no room for reflection. I think that Twitter may be used to convey information such as assignment due dates or changes in classroom locations, but this can just as easily be conveyed through other social media tools such as Facebook or Blogging.
I will explore the use of Twitter as a learning tool at the start of my next class in the fall semester. More so as an experiment, to see if I can make good use of it, or not. I think it would be interesting to see what does come out of using it as an education tool.