Using Twitter as a learning tool – part 3
When designing Twitter activities keep in mind they should be able to be completed while your learners are on the go and therefore need to be short and simple to complete. As a guide it should take no longer than 5 minutes to complete a Twitter activity and no more than a couple of sentences of text (remember the tweet limit is 144 characters).
Research and share activities
In a previous course I designed the majority of the Twitter activities as research and share activities. These were activities where students were asked a question and then to find examples supporting the question and tweet these.
For example a course that examines social media use in society and the advantages and disadvantages of this could pose a question such as: What situations can you find where a community has used Twitter as their primary source of information? Tweet your example using the course hash tag #……
In research and share activities it is important to remind learners to use a common hashtag so they can search and read other peoples tweets and examples as well.
If a full answer to a research question requires more than a brief sentence or two, then change the activity from a Twitter activity to something else more suitable such as a forum post.
Share opinions and thoughts
Again this type of activity starts with a question and invites learners to share their view on a question. Here’s an example below:
This technique could be used as a motivator to introduce a topic or to explore different views.
You could also tweet link to another website such as a polling website so learners can anonymously share their opinion/vote.
Interact through a mock Twitter account
Tom Kulhmann from the Rapid elearning blog gives an awesome example of how Twitter could be used by setting up mock Twitter accounts with personas from the past. It’s an old blog post but has great ideas that are still relevant now.
Follow the thought leaders
Following thought leaders is an excellent way to learn from the best. It’s primarily what I use Twitter for.
You can set up opportunities in your learning content that encourage your participants to seek and follow thought leaders in their field. This may include inviting the learners to follow a subject matter expert or lecturer of a course. It could include giving learners a list of thought leaders in the area of learning/content they are interested in or even some common hashtags that are used in their field on Twitter.
Follow-up questions after class (face-to-face or virtual class)
As well as using Twitter to motivate learners at the beginning of a topic or getting them to explore and interact with content, why not use Twitter to help reflective learning as well? Pose questions and ask for sharing after they have attended class – keep what they’ve learnt fresh in their minds. If they attended a training event you could even ask them to commit what first action they’re going to put in to place when they’re back on the job.
A school teacher told me that she regularly used Twitter to get her students to share something new they learned that day – what a great way to get students to reflect on their learning!
These are only the tip of the iceberg for the types of activities that can be done in Twitter. I’d love to hear your ideas for other types of learning activities in Twitter.
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