Monday, August 22, 2011

Tweet, tweet! 5 ways Twitter has changed education

Hard to believe that Twitter turned 5 earlier this year. Billions of tweets later, the microblogging platform has changed the way many of us communicate and get information online. The real-time communication provided by Twitter has had profound implications for education, and while it may not be fully integrated into everyone’s academic toolbox yet, it is finding a place there more and more.

Here’s a list of the 5 ways in which Twitter has changed (and probably still can change) education:

1. BRINGS THE WORLD INTO THE CLASSROOM: Internet resources like Twitter give students access to information — more importantly, perhaps — to people beyond the classroom walls. Students can post inquiries online and receive responses in real- or near real-time.

2. HELPS COMMUNICATION BETWEEN SCHOOL AND HOME: A Twitter account for a school or a teacher can be another means (and a paperless one at that) to communicate information to parents on things like events, school closures, and deadlines.

3. GIVES EDUCATORS REAL-TIME PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Rather than waiting for school-sanctioned events and rather than having to locate experts on their own, Twitter gives educators access to a vast social network of other like-minded professionals

4. CREATES CUSTOMIZED PROFESSIONAL NETWORK: It isn’t just educators that are using Twitter to expand their access to experts. Twitter has become a key tool for creating personal learning networks, enabling anyone to build their own connections with other Twitter users, sharing learning resources and support.

5. CAPTURES CONVERSATIONS: The twitters in the back of the classroom used to be seen as distractions and disruptions. By using Twitter, many educators are finding ways to capture these “backchannel” conversations, harnessing rather than silencing conversations that occur during lectures and presentations by taking instant polls and asking for feedback through Twitter.

Has Twitter changed anything about your life at school?

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