Using Twitter for teaching is not apparent. It will require research into best practiced and case studies, and even more so for people who have no or little experience using it. It will require that you be creative and use it beyond micro blogging.
Twitter is an open system. It allows for creation of and connection to a community of learning. You can seek out and connect with leaders, experts, mentors, other learners, knowledge sources, conferences/events, learning resources, etc. You can pose questions, share ideas/hunches, collaborate, and tweet live events. High level of engagement and interaction is possible as there few real barriers; it is very participatory.
It can be restricted for private access for a course by invite only, such as the teacher(s), learners, guests, mentors, etc. Permission settings are defined by the teacher. It can facilitate one way communication, teacher to learner(s) only (private or the whole class) and two way communication, between teacher to learner(s).
Twitter also provides space for formal and informal synchronous and asynchronous discussions, a less stressful venue for learners to ask questions than a formal face-to-face classroom, a medium to provide course updates and announcements, a tool for providing academic and technical support to learners, allows teacher and learners to share resources and events, and allows invited guests to participate in class discussions. Again, these functions are not always obvious.
These are a few apps that can enhance the Twitter experience for teaching and learning:
- Tweet Deck (https://tweetdeck.twitter.com) allows management of tweets, access to multiple tweets at once, account management, including multiple accounts, and privacy settings
- Twtpoll (https://twtpoll.com) for creating online, real time polls (polls, surveys, Q&As) synchronously and asynchronously
- Can be used as backchannel chat to solicit feedback from learners using a #hashtag for a class or a topic and real time discussion using either Tweetgrid, Twijector, or Hootcourse
- paper.li (http://paper.li ) creates journals based on #hashtags; great for researching subjects. Learners can create their own journals and teachers can subscribe to provide comment, monitor development and for evaluation.
Junco, R., Heiberger, G., & Loken, E. (2010). The effect of Twitter on college student engagement and grades. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 27(2), pages 119–132. Retrieved from http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/president/sparc/meetings
Via, S. (2011). Teaching with Twitter. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8D3qYj4Mdaw
Chapman, A. (2015) Tweeting in Higher Education: Best Practices. Retrieved from: http://er.educause.edu/articles/2015/9/tweeting-in-higher-education-best-practices
Boon, S. (2014). Twitter for Teaching. Canadian Science Publishing. Retrieved from: http://www.cdnsciencepub.com/blog/twitter-for-teaching.aspx
Sample, M. (2010). A Framework for Teaching with Twitter. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from: http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/a-framework-for-teaching-with-twitter/26223
Mollett, A., Moran, D., Dunleavy, P. (2011) Using Twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities. Impact of social sciences: maximizing the impact of academic research, LSE Public Policy Group, London School of Economics and Political Science., London. Retrieved from: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/38489/1/Using_Twitter_in_university_research%2C_teaching_and_impact_activities_%28LSE_RO%29.pdf