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Twitter - why bother - in the classroom?

By james.buckingham ·
I have introduced Twitter to all of my students (3) classes. I use it to immediately inform them about developments. This could be when marks have been posted online, when I've been held up with things, items that I've found that might be topical / highly relevant, etc. .. and by example, I'm encouraging the students to do the same. Much more informal learning .. and by doing so, subtly suggesting that "our" learning need not all take place in a structured setting like a classroom, that "our" learning can come about through "connection" and exchanges in our "community of learning".

I've only lately observed how students have greater insight into and appreciation of just what I do and how busy I am with my work as an instructor. I've also been privy to seeing then use the tool to support one another when I haven't been available to answer a question.

I've also been exploring the use of Twitter tools for EFL needs - i.e. using Tweetscan as a real time concordance so students "see" how other Twitters around the world might be using a word .. thus understanding it better through its context.

I could go on. Twitter's simplicity and flexiblity as a communications tool that is capable of promoting communication, fostering community and realizing connectivity are fundamental to understanding its "value".

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