A new way to engage students through social software – the possibilities of Twitter as a tool for communication and reflection.
Each participant signs up on twitter.com with a username.
Depending on the purpose of using Twitter in class the facilitator should make a hashtag # to label the course. It could be #ILS09 or #coursename.
During the course you should ask the students for a number of tweets for each lecture and tag it with the hashtag.
The result of using Twitter in educational settings is a back channel for communication and reflection among students and teachers. Here discussions can be facilitated and you can follow up on different areas of interest.
It is important that you make at clear what the purpose of using Twitter is and how many tweets you expect from each students to start the process of making twitter a part of your teaching.
Laptops, internet connection and a Twitter account.
Currently I am co-teacher at course called ICT, learning and collaboration where four students are participating and a remark from that experience is that it is difficult to facilitate discussion. We believe that there would be more activity on twitter - re-tweets, direct messages etc. - if the student were a bit large.
It is also difficult to assess the activity in a qualitative manner because you cannot control the structure and level of reflection on Twitter. You have to require a number of tweets and that seems like the only way to evaluate the student’s activity right now.