Twitter in the classroom
This idea–using Twitter in the classroom, especially in the writing and reading classroom–is the focus of my research for my seminar paper for my Computers and Composition class. As I have begun to delve into the articles I have found, I have discovered its use in the classroom is definitely NOT a common practice. Not.Even.Close. Of course, there are some instructors that are utilizing in various capacities in their courses, but they seem to be the exception rather than the rule. In addition, it seems from my general Google searches to be used more in the K-12 setting rather than the Higher Education setting. Perhaps, that is because college teachers would write a more scholarly or academic article rather than a blog post or YouTube video, or perhaps, college teachers just are not using it as much. Too early for me to say with any certainty. One of the most prevalent examples of a college instructor using Twitter in the classroom is Dr. Monica Rankin, a history professor at the University of Texas–Dallas; however, in fairness, it appears she began incorporating Twitter in her classroom for research purposes. Here is a video clip explaining her experiment and usage of Twitter in her classroom:
Given the social and collaborative nature of Twitter, I am somewhat surprised that college professors have not embraced this social media tool more. As an instructor myself, I admit I have wanted to incorporate Twitter into classroom, but I have not yet done so. I am hoping to experiment with it in the summer class I am teaching, as it will be a smaller group and I will have more time to focus on implementing it. I wonder if instructors do not use because they are unaware of the how they could use it to promote literacy, writing, and collaboration, or if the lack of use stems more from the idea that it is just “one more thing to do” on top an already long, and sometimes overwhelming, list. The lack of use is an idea I hope to research more in-depth at some point, but for my present paper, I will focus more on how it is and can be used in the classroom to promote collaboration, writing, and literacy. At least that is what I think after reading a few articles. Given the inchoate stage of my research, my ideas are still malleable.
If you have used Twitter as an instructor or as a student in the classroom, I would love for you to leave your thoughts about its use in the classroom in the comments below.