The first assignment in Emerging Technology was dealing with Twitter. I never used Twitter before and I never quite understood the popularity of this tool. I must admit that most people I know have a Twitter account and a few of them seem to be quite addicted to it.
The first thing I did was create an account. This was actually quite easy to do. I set up a profile and customized my page. I then subscribed to our class Twitter which is @it860. I then tweeted for the first time. I sent 6 or 7 tweets during the next few days to the class Twitter. It was very easy to do and it fun to receive and read the tweets from the rest of the class. The following is my Twitter URL:
Since I created a Twitter account I am now following 18 people. I still have not totally embraced the concept and I must admit I have not sent a tweet since the ones I sent to my class group. I do check tweets that I am following and look forward to hearing what is new.
I did read an interesting article about a college instructor in Texas who uses Twitter in her class. She asks questions and has the students tweet the answers and also allows students to ask questions. The tweets are then displayed on the screen in front of the class. The class has over 100 students so she is using Twitter as a means to create a form of class participation and engage students. I found this interesting because I teach a class with over 100 students and all I can really do is lecture. Class participation is difficult. I think this would be a great method for allowing interactions. An instructor could also determine if the students understand the material and then go back and cover areas and answer questions. The problem with this is that not all students have Smartphones with the ability to use Twitter. The instructor in Texas had a graduate assistant in the class who typed in messages for students who were not able to tweet.
Twitter would also be a great way for an instructor to communicate with students. They could tweet about any changes to the schedule, assignments coming up or just interesting things they found and want to share with the students. Students are embracing this technology and I think the trend is going to share more gains in popularity.
On a lighter note…here is a video about Twitter. Happy Tweets!!!