Twitter and Education
As we here at b2cloud see it, social media is here to stay, and as with any up and coming technology, often it is the young who take to it quickly, this raises the question for all the school-aged web 2.0ers – while there’s no doubt that it can be fun, even informative, can it be educational?
The idea of an online collaborative tool is not revolutionary, indeed, perhaps attempting to use twitter to generate such discussion is not even viable if Morgan Stanley’s experts are correct, and teens don’t use twitter.
However the there are some sound ideas and practice behind this. At present many university lecturers are utilizing twitter. Realising that many students won’t automatically check internal university portals, but will sign up to a lecturer’s twitter feed, a simple and fast mode of communication is established.
Thinking back to a high school example – often a cutting edge demographic for any social media site, as well as hard to engage for teacher, there are several options and issues.
Twitter offers a chance to have open and free discussions about on-going projects and assignments for class groups, who can individually share ideas between them. For teachers this poses two major potential problems. One, a lack of focus, with education tweets being drowned out by the latest updates by Miley Cyrus and Ashton Kutcher. The other being the ability for all and sundry to see the on-going conversation.
Yammer offers a service which can be used somewhat like a closed-circut twitter service, which would solve both these problems, but raises a major issue. By using a specialised service the major advantage is lost – integrating meaningful learning potential into an everyday practice.
Regardless of the ‘noise’ that twitter may create from an educational perspective, including school conent – which of course students must themselves actively sign up to, creates an opportunity for schools to create meaningful learning opportunities for students.
Although Twitter is still blocked in all state schools by the government’s firewall.