Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Twitter in the Classroom

How One Teacher Uses Twitter in the Classroom
Teachers are always trying to combat student apathy and University of Texas at Dallas History Professor Monica Rankin has found an interesting way to do it using Twitter in the classroom.

Rankin uses a weekly hashtag to organize comments, questions and feedback posted by students to Twitter during class. Some of the students have downloaded Tweetdeck to their computers, others post by SMS or by writing questions of a piece of paper. Rankin then projects a giant image of live Tweets in the front of the class for discussion and suggests that students refer back to the messages later when studying. The Professor's results so far have been mixed but it is clear that more students are participating in classroom discussions than they used to. A video about Rankin's classroom experiment follows.

Rankin's experiment is similar to another effort at Pennsylvania State University at University Park, written up this Spring in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Another related example is available from Marquette University. Education consultant Jane Heart maintains a directory of more than 1000 learning professionals on Twitter.

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