Integrating Twitter in the Classroom

If you end­ed up in high­er edu­ca­tion, have you ever asked your­self where rev­o­lu­tions in the class­room come from? After I start­ed at UOIT as a pro­fes­sor, full of enthu­si­asm and burst­ing with ideas, I have cer­tain­ly pon­dered on this ques­tion for quite a bit, espe­cial­ly last year dur­ing my first semes­ter teach­ing two uni­ver­si­ty under­grad­u­ate class­es. Of course, I have no defin­i­tive answer, but I want­ed to share some of my expe­ri­ences with tech­nol­o­gy in the class­room with you, start­ing with how I use Twitter in my cours­es.

Social Media and Twitter

Of Mice And...

One incen­tive to look into class­room tech­nol­o­gy is that UOIT is a lap­top-based uni­ver­si­ty. To quote Wikipedia: “All under­grad­u­ate pro­grams require stu­dents to lease a Lenovo Thinkpad lap­top PC from the uni­ver­si­ty as a con­di­tion of enroll­ment, mak­ing it Ontario’s only lap­top-based uni­ver­si­ty” [1]. This can be equal­ly scary and excit­ing for a new pro­fes­sor. When I start­ed teach­ing, I was main­ly scared of the sto­ries that I heard about stu­dents just doz­ing off on Facebook dur­ing class and not car­ing about any­thing I would say (I would lat­er find out that imgur is actu­al­ly more dan­ger­ous for stu­dent pro­duc­tiv­i­ty). I thought, all this means is to inte­grate social media in my class­room and make it all real­ly excit­ing, so that the stu­dents are engaged in class. Challenge accept­ed. However, I would soon find out that it is dif­fi­cult to get social media right when not all peo­ple in the audi­ence have the same inter­est in this form of par­tic­i­pa­tion. Continue read­ing