engaging students with twitter

Engaging Students with TWITTER

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How to use twitter in the university classroom. Presentation by Dr. Lisa Trentin.


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Engaging Students with TWITTER

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What is TWITTER?

• Created in 2006, it’s a micro-blogging social media tool that provides real time information from real people.

• Profile: Twitter page displaying information about a user, as well as all the tweets they have posted.

• Tweets: messages of up to 140 characters. • Followers: people who subscribe to/receive your tweets;

updates appear on twitter feed.• Lists: curated groups of Twitter users; used to tie specific

individuals to a group or topic.• Hashtags: a word prefixed by a “pound sign” (#) to mark

keywords or topics in a tweet.

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Teaching with TWITTER

Twitter Adoption Matrix by Mark Sample, 2010.

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INSTRUCTORS: • Do I have to follow all of my students in order to

teach with Twitter? • How often should I require my students to tweet? • What should my students tweet about?• How do I monitor who tweets what and how often? • How much of an investment of time will Twitter

require (account set-up, tweeting, archiving, assessing tweets)?

STUDENTS: Are we being graded on this?

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2012-2013• CLA101: Introduction to Classical Civilization (200)• CLA201: Greek & Latin in Scientific Terminology (100) • CLA204: Introduction to Classical Mythology (250)• CLA231: Introduction to Roman History (120)• CLA237: Introduction to Greek Culture & Society (100)

(varying degrees of success and engagement)

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ASSESSMENT1) Participation (10% of overall mark);• Classes will combine both formal lectures as well as tutorial-

style discussion; as such, there will be ample opportunity for students to raise questions and engage dialogue. This will involve and require active participation from all members of the group in terms of preparatory reading, general questions and close textual and/or visual analysis. Students will be asked to complete a variety of activities to account for attendance and participation, both in class and via Blackboard Discussion Board and/or Twitter.

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• Who’s on it? Who can I follow?

• What is it? What can it do for me?

• Where can I find others?

• When do I use it? When should I tweet?

• Why use it? Why use it in the classroom?

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You might also want to follow: @UTMstudentlife @UTMlibrary @UofTMississaugaSU

@UTMBookstore@UTMRegistrar @UTMHelpdesk @TheMediumUTM@utmONE@rezTWEET (UTM Residence) @UTMTV (online television) @utmHCC

@UTMHS (Historical Studies)@DrLisaTrentin

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TWITTER Teaching & Learning

You can follow me @DrLisaTrentin

Please JOIN the CLA201-2013 LIST for fellow course twitteratiUse the hashtag #CLA201 for all course-related tweets

Acceptable use of Twitter for this course:Communication: Share questions with your peers relating to class lectures, readings, quizzes, etc. Post news and interesting information related to topics in the courseReflective Thinking: Sum up the most valuable lesson of the lecture – answer specific questions posedNetworking: Find and follow experts in the field of Classics, Archaeology, History and many other disciplines!

FYI – Important!• It is a serious academic offense for students to post threatening or profane tweets. • Separate personal tweets from course-related tweets by using LISTS and appropriate HASHTAGS#

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YOUR TASK: • Find a scholar in: – a) the field of Classics (or Archaeology or Art

History or History) AND– b) your major field of interest.

• Follow this scholar throughout the term to see what kinds of things s/he tweets

• End of term we will evaluate the “value” of these tweets…

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YOUR TASK: • Follow the instructor to receive important

information on: course announcements, assignment deadlines, lecture updates, tweets of interest from the wider Classics community.

• Tweet according to course related requirements: reflective thinking, further thoughts, quizzes, exam, etc.

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The photo below was taken at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Toronto. Examine the photo. Choose one word, subdivide so as to show prefixes,

BASES, suffixes and combining vowels. Give the etymological definition of the word. If the actual meaning differs, give that as well.


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YOUR TASK: • Follow the course Twitter list to connect with

students outside of class: obtain notes, arrange study groups, review course material, etc.

• Follow one another: networking opportunities, shared communication, etc.

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• It gives me a voice when I can’t/don’t want to participate in class.

• I can connect with other students in the class.• I don’t use Twitter because it’s intimidating. But I like that

the Twitter feed is on Blackboard so I can see what kinds of things others tweet. I would maybe use it if it was required in other courses.

• I don’t like Twitter. Not enough space to write what I need. I use Blackboard instead.

• Twitter is good. Gets to the point. Don’t have to write so much (unnecessarily) as on BB.

• Never used it in classes but I think it works.

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• Create a permanent Twitter archive: monitor who is tweeting what, when and how often.

• Most apps are free and can export archive into Excel or Office spreadsheets.

• Try: HootSuite Archives; Tweet Archivist; TweetDoc; Twitter Archive Google Spreadsheet

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Beyond the Classroom: Why Should You Use TWITTER?

make and maintain connections with others in your field,

find out about interesting projects and research,

crowdsource questions and technical problems.

It’s the LinkedIn, Academia.edu of social media!

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Helpful Resources…• Lehmann, K. and Chamberlin, L. 2011. “Twitter in Higher Education,”

pp. 375-391 in C. Wankel, ed. Educating Educators with Social Media. Emerald Group Publishing.

• Tyma, A. 2011. “Connecting with what is out there! Using Twitter in the large lecture,” Communication Teacher 25.3: 175-181.

• Young, J. 2010. “Teaching with Twitter: not for the faint of heart,” in Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review.

• Wright, N. 2010. “Twittering in teacher education: reflecting on practicum experiences,” The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning 25.3: 259-265.

• There are also a slew of online resources under the blog “ProfHacker” from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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