Twitter

Look Mum, I'm eating soup…!

It's not a technology that I've used personally, but here are some links that will be of interest if all your friends are talking (or twittering…) about it and/or you wonder if you could use it for teaching.

What is it?
Twitter describes itself as "a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?". In 140 characters, or less, that is. Like, you think it's important that your Mum knows you're eating soup (see image, above)…? Or she thinks it's important…

Don't dismiss it

You don't think that's important, huh? Well, Jennifer Laycock — and hundreds of thousands of others — "embraced Twitter" and thinks "you should too". And maybe we should take a look at the technology — any technology — and ask how we might use it (see below), before dismissing it out of hand.

Laycock's is quite a good guide to getting started with Twitter (see also parts two and three).

How it could be used in the classroom
As a Twitter skeptic, it doesn't surprise me that practical classroom ideas for it are a bit thin on the ground.

Over at weblogg-ed.com, Will Richardson has 1,000 people following his twitterings (that's not meant unkindly); can see that it must have possibilities; but is still getting over "Twitter guilt" (over spending too much time on it) and doesn't seem to have pinned them down yet.

Elsewhere, this article on chronicle.com drew my attention to David Parry's more concrete proposals, Twitter for Academia, on AcademHack.

I still think it would be better just to get your students to talk to each other face-to-face or use technology to create something more permanent… But, as I say, I'm a skeptic who's never actually tried Twitter…

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One Comment

  1. I'm a skeptic too, but I came up with these ideas for the foreign language classroom.

    Cheers!

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