What is it?
Many lecturers use the social media platform, Twitter, in their lectures to encourage student participation. This generally involves students ‘tweeting’ their questions during lectures and the lecturer replying to the questions either during the lecturer or at the end. This can be used as a way to give instant or quick feedback to students.
In Modern Languages, Alessia Plutino (Teaching Fellow in Italian Language) uses Twitter to enhance students participation and engagement in learning outside the classroom to provide another opportunity to practice the language outside the classroom. Twitter is used as a 24/7 live stream for learning and practicing what has been done in class while enhancing the community feeling of belonging to a group of likewise committed people enjoying target language and culture. Twitter is also used within lectures via live tweets which provide students with a platform to ask questions and get instant feedback.
Alessia found that for a successful use of Twitter, and regardless of whether students are on Twitter already, they should create a second account to be used ONLY for the course. This means that students can keep the personal and the learning separate, and can feel freer to share whatever they are comfortable with.
How can students make the most of it?
If students do not already have a Twitter account, they should be encouraged to register for one so that they can actively participate in these sessions. Often some students are worried that the use of Twitter for academic purposes will conflict with their personal use but this can be avoided by simply creating a second account for academic purposes.