Live Tweeting: Connecting Classmates in More Ways Than One

16 01 2012

By Heather Smith

Thanks to social media, it is now quicker and easier than ever to connect and share information with customers, colleagues, fans and friends. Social network and micro blogging giant Twitter is among the top of these sites connecting users all around the world.

It is known as an information network that connects people to other people, businesses, social causes, communities and information. But what happens when you bring Twitter into the classroom?

During my Principles of Public Relations course, we embraced the capabilities of Twitter. During class, we used Twitter to share ideas and comments about our colleagues’ presentations by making our classroom Twitter friendly. Presenters’ PowerPoints are projected onto one screen, while our live Twitter feed via TwitterFall is projected on the other.

Surprisingly, live tweeting in our classroom managed to be a success. It allowed the audience to reflect and participate in the presentations as well as provided the presenters with immediate feedback on their presentations. Our professor Dr. Sara Hansen described our use of live tweeting as “another way of dialoging in class.” She couldn’t be more right.

It provided students with the opportunity to voice their opinions while viewing the thoughts of others without needing to even raise a hand. As students, we use Twitter to connect not only during class but outside of class as well. We connect under #uwopr and share our personal interests, links to personal and professional sites, previews of future class discussions and recaps on older ones.

Here are some of our very own live tweets. I use these examples to demonstrate a few different ways live tweeting can be used to connect students in the classroom.

Provide the class with more info on your topic, even when your presentation is over.

Audience members: Share more great info to a presenter about the topic they might not have known about before.

When you’re done presenting, check out some immediate feedback from your peers.

Share what you’ve learned. Connect what you’ve learned from the presenter with what you’ve learned in class.

With live tweeting, you can throw in your personal opinion about a topic.

Show personality. Compliment the speaker. Explore and share new sites with one another.

Connect with other students at your university!

As users of Twitter, we share what is important to us. As classmates, we share these things that are of importance to us with each other.

Whether in or out of class, Twitter can be used to advance learning and communication among students. This real-time information network provides classmates with an innovative ability to connect and exchange information in ways I never thought possible.

To check out more of our live tweeting, search #uwopr.

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