Introduction to Information Literacy in the K12 Classroom/Chapter 6.5
Socializing is becoming more and more important in the digital age. Being able to communicate in real time at anytime makes socializing easier and more effective. Twitter, the idea which came from Jack Dorsey, makes these interactions possible. Individuals are able to post comments in 140 words or less. These short interactions enable people to communicate quickly and at anytime. Using Twitter as an educational tool extends the classroom beyond the classroom by allowing students to communicate with each other and the instructor at anytime and in any place.
The article Tweeting the Night Away: Using Twitter to Enhance Social Presence lists several typical experiences of students and teachers using Twitter:
“A student is reading something in the textbook and has a question about the chapter on multimodal learning. She immediately tweets (i.e., posts) her question to the Twitter community, and gets three responses within ten minutes)-two responses from classmates, and one from Joni (her professor). This leads to several subsequent posts, including comments from two practicing professionals.”
“A student is working on an assignment and is wondering about embedding music into a slideshow presentation. He tweets a question to the group and gets a response from Patrick (his professor) and a practicing professional. Both point the student to different online resources that explain how to embed music and provide examples to deconstruct. Within a half hour, the student has embedded music in his slideshow presentation.”
“A student finds a great video about storyboarding on YouTube and posts the URL to Twitter. Her find is retweeted (i.e., reposted) three times because others also think the video is great and worth sharing.”
Twitter offers many benefits to the education experiences. It creates a place where information can be communicated timely. If students have a question or concern, they can tweet their question and receive responses very quickly. The simplicity of Twitter makes it appealing. Students and teachers can communicate easily in an informal way. Twitter, by connecting a broad variety of people, provides students with a wider range of resources and helps strengthen their social skills.
Dunlap, J. C., et al., Tweeting the Night Away: Using Twitter to Enhance Social Presence. Journal of Information Systems Education v. 20 no. 2 (Summer 2009) p. 129-35