Monday, July 2, 2012

Why Twitter can be the easiest social media platform to use in the classroom

Educators continue to lag behind other professionals when it comes to social media adoption. One significant reason for this lag may be education's tendency to cling to traditional learning approaches. However, I also see educators who are interested in using social media, but don't know how to begin using the technologies in ways that enrich learning.

Blogging can seem daunting to some educators. Facebook can present challenges with how to balance your professional persona with your personal persona. Google+ might sound confusing.

My advice for educators who want to use social media in positive ways, but don't know where to begin? Pick up Twitter.

In my experience, Twitter is perhaps the easiest social media technology to learn and begin incorporating into the classroom. It has a lower barrier to entry, because the user interface is relatively simple. And most of your students are probably on Twitter already, and many are proficient at using it.

There are some basics to know to get started using Twitter in the classroom. I presented them during Post University's Online Learning Conference 2012. Take a listen to my presentation, where you'll hear me cover:
  • Why Twitter can facilitate information discovery
  • How Twitter fosters student engagement
  • How to sign up for Twitter
  • How to complete your Twitter profile
  • How to tweet, retweet, reply, and message on Twitter
  • How to manage your Twitter interactions using third-part Twitter apps, such as HootSuite
                                       
I hope my presentation is helpful to you. Feel free to add more advice in the comments section!