In this competitive world where things are changing so fast, technology is making its mark to make life easier. Gone are the days of teaching just from books or doing assignment in groups and not be connected to each other. The integration of technology into teaching has helped one understand the applications and ways of the world.

Twitter is one Web 2.0 tool that I found very interesting and helpful in teaching and learning. Twitter is a fun and interesting website. It is part micro blogging, part social networking and part mobile based tool that allows users to post microblogs called “tweets.” Twitter is owned by Twitter Inc. It is based in San Francisco, California. This website was produced by Jack Dorsey. It was launched in July, 2006 and since then it has gained popularity worldwide with over 200 million users. The latest statistics can be viewed at Twitter Statistics.

To many, its value is seen in keeping connected with groups, educational purposes, connecting with business people and friends. Twitter connects us with the latest information in a manner which is very efficient. An example of Twitter efficiency is seen when twitter helps find a missing child.

I came across Twitter at the beginning of this year, 2009. I was overwhelmed by things that Twitter could offer. This website is similar to Facebook.  It is similar that it also is a social networking site. Twitter can be used to share useful information such as study notes and revision exercises by linking with external websites. For example, the topic lights in Physics. The teacher can link the website of lights so that students could get more information. Another useful feature is that you can share links from YouTube or Vodpod. For example if an experiment was not successful in class then the teacher can provide links to the videos that is showing the experiment done successfully by another person in another country. The screen shot below shows a link to a classroom experiment that is linked from Vodpod.

Twitter is less interactive. It has word limitations. Its allows only 140 characters for tweets. Sending messages also has character limitation. Hence, this restricts the users to express or explain in full in other words the posting of a normal user is minimal. It can be a distraction to the user.

Moreover, if a user is a follower of a lot of people or business on Twitter then the person will find difficulty constantly checking for updates from his following list hence Lists can be created to view specific people’s posting at once. I have created a List for my University friends and lecturer and the List can be made private or public for people to follow. To look for updates from a particular person you will have to search for the person and go through his/her timeline if the person is not listed. Also if one is using twitter through mobile phone and has more friends than it becomes hard to handle that is it can be expensive.

Twitter is very helpful as a teaching tool. If u r following someone for educational purposes then you get exposed to a variety of latest information. Links are shared to explore outside the boundaries of a classroom and of Twitter. Remind students about due dates of assignments, upcoming activities or short notices. The screen shot below shows my lecturer reminding students of the assignments due time.

Conclusion

Teaching using Web 2.0 technology, Twitter to formulate better learning process will lead the teaching and learning to a new level. If you are a following someone for educational purposes then this will be very helpful in getting the latest information in education. As a teacher, it would be easy for me to remind my students the due dates of assignments, upcoming activities or events. Finally it can be said that the use of Twitter will strengthen the student teacher relationship and extend the classroom learning barrier.

Advertisements