Saturday, September 19, 2009

Almost 10% of faculty use Twitter for instruction

That's a huge number. The source is a good one, Campus Technology, although (perhaps predictably) they spin it in the negative. The headline points out that "most faculty don't use" the service. But one in ten? Quick, tell me the obvious instructional uses.

Can't come up a good one? Neither could I. That's what makes the number so fascinating to me. Here's the article:

On further reflection, here's a very short list of possibilities...
  • Announcements and reminders
  • Heads-up for current events
  • Posting links to new/different content
  • Praise and commendations
  • Improving class cohesiveness
I could see how an engaged instructor could help keep students thinking about his or her course, and keep the momentum of a good class session going by simply plinking away with little comments and asides of interest, particularly using the last two ideas on my list. Just keeping their head in the game could pay off in big way.

But it's hard for me to imagine it as a serious part of instructional design. What am I missing? I'm very interested to learn what's really going on, and to hear any other ideas for uses.

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