Tag Archives: twitter

#Twitter? Why?

16 Jan

Google will show you several ways of “tweeting up” your class, but what matters isn’t so much what you do with twitter, but why you do it at all.

A social presence, whether off or online, has to be tended to, or it’ll wither. And, as you can’t force people to be social, if you want them to participate, you’ve got to give them a good reason to take it up and stick with it.

In short: find the why that’ll motivate your students.

If most of your students already use twitter, find out why they use it. If not, why not?

What you’re looking for is: How many of them see Twitter as a news platform? Yes, it can be several other things as well, but bear with me. No matter what you’re studying, learning includes staying up-to-date with what’s happening in your field of choice. Therefore, present Twitter as the freshest news bulletin you can build.

That’s right. Emphasize the build. You’re  getting them to build a personal newsfeed, one that’ll only bring them stuff they are interested in. So, get your students to do some searches, and follow some interesting people.

Important: let them define what interesting means. Ask them to follow at least 2 people connected to the course matter, but encourage them to search any topic they’re interested in or anything they really like. Allow them to build a newsfeed they’ll want to use regularly.

Then, teach them about the DMs, @s, RTs, lists, tinyurls, and #s of the Twitterverse, so they can start to interact.

See, no matter what you’re studying, the value of having a personal newsfeed, that doubles as a contact list, communication tool, portfolio, etc… is very appealing to most.

And then, when you get to integrating all of that with tumblr, wordpress, facebook, stumbleupon,  and so forth… it’ll take on a life of its own.

Focus on the why.