Posts Tagged ‘twitter chat’

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Why Twitter Matters in the College Classroom

posted: 1.29.13 by Traci Gardner

Last week there was another shooting on a college campus. This post isn’t about gun control however. It’s about Twitter—and about why we should use Twitter in the classroom.

Obviously, I am not arguing that we need to teach students about social networking tools like Twitter because one day they may need to communicate in an emergency. That’s just silly. You learn to do CPR in case of emergencies. You don’t learn to Tweet.

Sometimes however, Twitter is how people communicate in emergencies. The news stories about the shooting at Lone Star Community College in Texas covered not only what was happening on campus, but also how students used Twitter to tell readers what was going on (LA TimesHuffington Post). Here is the information posted on Twitter by Lone Star student Amanda:

View Traci’s story “Tweets from Amanda at LSCC” on Storify

[read more]

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Saving Twitter Chat Archives

posted: 1.15.13 by Traci Gardner

My last four blog posts have been about Twitter Chats, which are real-time, online conversations that use specific hashtags to help organize the discussion. I’ve talked about Connecting with Colleagues and Teaching with Twitter Chats, and I’ve shared some Introductory Twitter Chat Activities and some Advanced Twitter Chat Activities.

Why archive? Once you begin using Twitter Chat sessions, you will certainly want to collect and save the comments that you and others share so that you can refer to them later. While not every comment is worthy of saving, you may find a few nuggets that you want to return to. More importantly, it’s a good idea to keep a record of this class work.

You can use the Twitter Search function to find your Twitter Chat updates, but the search will only capture the most recent Tweets. It won’t collect messages from a Twitter Chat that happened several weeks ago—and it doesn’t give you a permanent document. Saving a transcript after each Twitter Chat session captures all the Tweets, and once you post that transcript online, you can give students and colleagues the link to the archived sessions you want them to see or review.

Additionally, having an archive helps with assessment, since later and at a more leisurely pace, you can look back and see how people contributed. Some of the archive options even do basic analysis that will show you who the greatest contributors are. I’ll share several options you can use to create transcripts of your chats. [read more]

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Teaching with Twitter Chats

posted: 12.4.12 by Traci Gardner

Talking pointLast week, I wrote about connecting with colleagues using Twitter Chats. This week I want to talk about how to use Twitter Chats with students. Next week, I’ll share some assignment ideas, so be sure to check back.

Twitter Chats are real time, or synchronous, discussions that take place using Twitter and specific hashtags. Everyone can participate in the discussion at the same time. There’s no waiting for your turn. You can use a Twitter client or the Tweet Chat site to manage the discussion during a Twitter Chat, keeping all the updates that include the same hashtag in a single column or screen.

Why Use Twitter Chats

As a classroom tool, Twitter Chats can give you a simple way to carry out a real-time discussion that relies completely on writing. Rather than students explaining ideas out loud, a Twitter Chat requires clear and concise written messages. These synchronous discussions are similar to sessions that might take place using IRC, MOO, or even Second Life.

The distributed nature of the discussion, with everyone commenting as ideas come, leads to more student-centered conversations. The teacher may frame the class discussion, but once everyone begins adding to the conversation, it becomes a much less hierarchical exchange of ideas. [read more]

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Connecting with Twitter Chats

posted: 11.27.12 by Traci Gardner

Blue Jay • Adult & Juvenile  (Cyanocitta cristata)What if a group of people all Tweeted with the same hashtag and talked about the same topic at the same time? That, essentially, is what happens during a Twitter Chat, a public meeting (or conversation, if you like) that takes place online using Twitter.

Twitter already gives you ways to share and discuss information with students and colleagues. The day-to-day connections you make with one another using Twitter are normally serendipitous. You connect with whomever seems to be around and about whatever topic or experiences come to mind. This capability is great when you need to send out a last-minute message or to connect with someone who wants to ask a quick question or has made an interesting observation. Happenstance doesn’t work for everything, however.

Twitter Chats take place at announced times and use an announced hashtag. Some Twitter Chats announce a topic for the discussion in advance. Others take shape when the Twitter Chat organizer kicks off the discussion with a question or prompt of some kind. Still other Twitter Chats are free-form, with the topics of conversation evolving as the Twitter Chat takes place. You can see the range of topics that are explored on Inside Higher Ed’s Twitter Directory for Higher Education, which includes descriptions for most of the Twitter Chats that will interest college teachers. [read more]

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