Category Archives: Twitter

Tweet-chat

Tips on running a Tweet-chat

Last week I was involved in the second iteration / cohort / running of the BYOD4L short course. Along with a number of colleagues we ran a series of tweet-chats each evening along the course themes – timed between 8-9pm the tweet-chats involved facilitators posing questions and ‘facilitating’ the responses and direction the chat took.

Taking is back to the beginning … what is a tweet-chat?

“A TweetChat is a virtual meeting or gathering on Twitter to discuss a common topic. The chat usually lasts one hour and will include some questions to stimulate discussion.” – BYOD4L Tweet-chat

“A Twitter chat is a public Twitter conversation around one unique hashtag. This hashtag allows you to follow the discussion and participate in it. Twitter chats are usually recurring and on specific topics to regularly connect people with these interests.” Social Media Examiner

I thought I’d write up my experiences of running three tweet-chats now: two for BYOD4L, and one for the Leicester Forensic Science FutureLearn MOOC. Each uses a different approach, but both very valid and engaging for the students / participants as well as the course team(s).

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Necklace

‘Anyone who doesn’t love Twitter is an idiot’

These are not my words (although I may agree with them)!

In February I wrote about my experience of Twitter and how it has changed the way I work, think, and look at myself – Where would I be without Twitter. In it I looked back over 5 years, 24,000 tweets, +7000 followers, etc. I acknowledge it’s impact on my personal and professional outlook, some good and some not so good.

Dan Snow, the presenter and historian has gone further than me and pinned his thoughts on the use of Twitter in The Guardian article
‘Anyone who doesn’t love Twitter is an idiot’. Dan explains that, for him, the use of the Internet (including Twitter and other social tools) has brought otherwise lengthy or geographically inaccessible primary sources into easy access:

“Digitisation of archives means we can search records and primary source material from the comfort of our own offices … a perk of the job used to be that you could travel abroad and work in an archive somewhere quite glamorous for weeks on end. Now we stay at home and do it online. For me, though, even more exciting is how it has allowed us to reach out to people. It’s made history collaborative and accessible. I can tweet about what I’m working on, and people will suggest ideas or come up with documents. It has opened a pipeline between geeky history people like me and the rest of the world. We used to just publish in academic journals, now we can share our research with huge numbers of people.”

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Twitter: hopkinsdavid / David Hopkins

Where would I be without Twitter?

[Read this next bit as though it's a well known Sinead O'Conner song]

It’s been 5 years, 30 days, and 53 minutes since my first tweet. Here is it:

Twitter: hopkinsdavid / David Hopkins

In that 5 years, 30 days, etc. I’ve made nearly 25,000 tweets. Admittedly not all of them are relevant, interesting, insightful, funny, or worth repeating, but some of them have been. Some of them have been ideas, sharing, conversations, photos, jokes, people I’ve met or places I’ve been, books or journals I’ve read, etc. Some are re-tweets (RT), mentions, replies, etc. And some are just banal observations for no other reason than Twitter was available and somewhere I can put a random thought, observation, rant, or other piece of useless information.  Continue reading

Learning Technologist collaboration research project: Loughborough College and the University of Leicester

Learning Technologist collaboration research project #LTFE #LTHE

Learning Technologist collaboration research project: Loughborough College and the University of Leicester

I am pleased to be involved in a project with Geraldine Murphy and Rachel Challen from Loughborough College which looks to explore the identity of a Learning Technologist through the “analysis of language”.

Project outline
According to the Association of Learning Technology the definition of Learning Technology is defined as this; “Learning technology is the broad range of communication, information and related technologies that can be used to support learning, teaching, and assessment.” Learning Technologists are then “the people who are actively involved in managing, researching, supporting or enabling learning with the use of learning technology.”(ALT 2010)

However, to those working in eLearning, on a daily or ad hoc basis, the explanation doesn’t seem to be as clear cut and there has to be a continual explanation of the job role and the skills, experience and knowledge the role of a Learning Technologist demands. Continue reading

Twitter David Hopkins

Twitter, updated

Twitter David Hopkins

I have been on Twitter for nearly 5 years now, using my @hopkinsdavid handle/username.

In this time I’ve amassed nearly 6700 followers and am currently following just over 1300 accounts – I don’t call them people as some are ‘corporate’ or ‘organisational’ accounts. Many of those I do follow are individuals who are like me and are working in some form of education, as either learning technologists, instructional designers, etc. or are thought leaders, provokers, or game-changers who investigate and challenge the educational establishments to improve ourselves and the world we’re leaving the next generation.

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Twitter

Alec Couros: Using Twitter Effectively in Education

An excellent introduction for Twitter and teachers or educators, from Alec Couros:

“Since then [2007] I’ve seen this huge growth of teachers really adopting Twitter and using it for amazing purposes. For the most part when you see good practice on Twitter you’re seeing, first of all, teachers develop a personal learning network (PLN) over a long period of time, so they find people who are interesting, who are leaders, whether they are admin people, whether they are subject area specialists, whether they are teachers from a broad spectrum. And it’s not just teachers who are located close, it is teachers from all aspects of the world.”

“Through the use of Twitter teachers are able to connect, see better practice, see what other teachers are doing and share lesson plans, and teachers are doing it in a lot of different ways.”

YouTube: Using Twitter effectively in education – with Alec Couros

Who gives a tweet? Evaluating microblog content gives us an insight into what makes a valuable academic tweet

What makes a ‘valuable’ academic tweet? #edtech

So, you can make a tweet that people will (statistically) read, re-tweet, reply, share, save, or ignore, and here’s the proof.

If, like the original article suggests, you are an academic using twitter for academic use (and many do, successfully) then there are a few ‘styles’ of tweets that you need to be aware of, and how your audience, your network, your PLN (Personal Learning Network), will view them.

“Broadly, we found that a little more than a third (36 per cent) of tweets were considered worth reading, while a quarter were not worth reading at all. (39 per cent elicited no strong opinion). Despite the social nature of Twitter, current mood, activity or location tweets were particularly disliked, while questions to followers and information sharing were most worthwhile.”

PS. it’s quite a small graphic so I’ve enlarged it slightly, hence the fuzzy writing/outlines.

Who gives a tweet? Evaluating microblog content gives us an insight into what makes a valuable academic tweet

Image source and original article: LSE – Who gives a tweet?

The article highlights the following tweet behaviours:

  • Tweets emphasising real-time information, old news, or even links that were fresh this morning, can be annoying. Continue reading

Anatomy of a Tweet

A beginners guide to a ‘tweet’

For those who are new to Twitter (and those not) a ‘tweet’ can be a confusing thing. So, reproduced from EdTEchSandyK‘s website is the ‘anatomy of a tweet’:

Anatomy of a Tweet
EdTechSandyK: How to Decode a Tweet

Does that explain it? No, then how about this?

  • When you say something on Twitter … that’s a Tweet.
  • You have 140 characters for your tweet, and that includes spaces, hyphens, quote marks, links, etc.
  • Your tweet is seen by everyone on Twitter and on the Internet … but only if they know you or search for something you said.
  • You can follow people, and they can follow you. By following someone their tweets will appear in your timeline.
  • Continue reading

Reading: “Experience of developing Twitter-based communities of practice in higher education”

Research in Learning Technology

Lewis, B. and Rush, D. 2013. Experience of developing Twitter-based communities of practice in higher education. In Research in Learning Technology 2013, 21: 18598 – http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v21i0.18598

“This article presents the results of a case study of the use of a microblogging tool by a university academic to increase their knowledge and experience of social media for educational purposes. The academic had the role of digital steward in a university and attempted to use microblogging (Twitter) to increase professional contacts within the framework of a community of practice. Several types of data were collected and analysed. These included the structure of the network arising from the links formed with others by microblogging, the similarity of stated interests between the academic and others in the network, and the contents of postings such as their external references. It was found that a personal network had been established, with some of the characteristics of a community of practice. The activity demonstrated the utility of social media in supporting the professional development of academic staff using technology.”

Twitter

Academic Excellence in 140 Characters

This video, “Academic Excellence in 140 Characters”, follows the research of Ray Junco (@reyjunco) and his students on the effects of Twitter on student engagement and grades:

“Despite the widespread use of social media by students and its increased use by instructors, very little empirical evidence is available concerning the impact of social media use on student learning and engagement. This study provides experimental evidence that Twitter can be used as an educational tool to help engage students and to mobilize faculty into a more active and participatory role.”

YouTube: Academic Excellence in 140 Characters

Thanks to Edutopia for this and many more excellent Twitter / Video resources.