Thursday, July 09, 2009

College Professors and Twitter

Most people who try Twitter or hear about Twitter are still in stage 1 - denial. Faculty, in particular, are at a loss figuring out how they or their students might use Twitter in and outside of the classroom. Here's a story from Wichita, Kansas detailing how some faculty are using Twitter.
College professors find Twitter a useful educational tool:
Adapting their teaching to take advantage of new technology, a growing number of college professors are using Twitter as an extension of the classroom — asking students to raise questions, hold discussions online, keep up with breaking news and share links to interesting stories.

Some, like Mary Knudson, who teaches writing at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, use Twitter to encourage students to write concisely. She thinks the limited number of characters helps writers remember to choose words carefully, cut clutter and realize how much can be said in a small space, like a haiku.

Others say experimentation with Twitter is the latest sign of a real shift in education, away from a professor lecturing students to a more democratic and wide-ranging exchange of information.

'It changes the dynamic of the way people teach and the way people learn,' said Monte Lutz, a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins. 'It encourages people to connect with each other. It can be almost a Socratic dialogue, in real time, in the class.'

Lou Heldman, distinguished senior fellow in media management and journalism at WSU, taught a class last semester that explored social networks and new media. He required students to join Twitter and use it to post links to articles relevant to the class.

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