It's easy to get inundated with tweets by jumping into Twitter and following several people/companies at once. Pick one or two for starters until you have a good sense of how it works. And don't be afraid to drop some feeds and pick up others. Changing your perspective of how you acquire information is not a bad thing.
Although I haven't been tweeting, I have been thinking a lot about Twitter this week. I haven't been using it to see what everyone is wearing to school or checking homework answers. I haven't even thought about buying into the IPO. What has been on my mind is how this social medium that is here to stay...at least for awhile...can be used for higher education purposes.
I have been using Twitter for professional development for a year or two now. I follow leaders in the field. When they share their own thoughts or links to something they found of value, I consider it something that I should at least check out and see if it has value that matches my interests and needs. It sure is nice to have some of the world experts culling through all of the material on the Internet and pushing some of the best up to the top.
When I think about how Twitter could benefit university students, this is certainly one strategy I would encourage them to adopt. Follow the movers and shakers in the field(s) that you are interested in.
I also would encourage students to begin to use social media like Twitter to add to the conversation. It is the goal of every instructor that something that they taught will resonate when the student leaves the classroom and explores the world. Twitter can be the medium that increases student awareness of that resonance. Encourage students to tweet real-world findings of conceptual classroom ideas. Develop and maintain an ongoing classroom discussion (in 140 characters or less) of the key themes of a course.
Twitter has so many potential uses for higher education. If you are interesting in exploring some of these possibilities for your teaching and learning purposes, contact ICET.
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