The second week of an online course using Twitter went much better. Everyone was on board with the process. There were some quick tweets posted from several students relating to the week’s assignments – a bit of back-and-forth chit-chat – which was pretty exciting for me. Again, being new to Twitter as a class leader (instructor), I was still a bit shaky with replies. I came across a great article that gave me some insight into some additional ways I could start working Twitter into my classroom environment. This article by Dunlap and Lowenthal (2009) explains that in online classrooms, much of the social banter that goes on before, after, and between classes in live courses is a missing element. Twitter provides a way for students and instructors to engage in this social interactivity in the style of online learning – anytime-anywhere.
This week’s assignment for the students was to explore communities of practice (CoP) and how that relates to online learning and developing one’s own Professional Learning Network (PLN). I think Twitter can really help students begin to develop their own PLN because it is an excellent tool to begin collecting focused resources and getting to know those like-minded individuals in their chosen field.
While I was making an attempt to get as much information on using Twitter as I could, I came across an excellent resource, “100 Ways to Use Twitter in Education” (Edudemic, 2012). This site provides a list of Twitter uses by degree of difficulty and also divides these activities into sub-categories such as basics, etiquette, and using twitter for education and professional purposes. Overall, this is a very resourceful page with lots of new ideas I’ll have to try out – eventually. One particularly interesting piece found within these resources discusses three different “styles” of tweeting. That was eye-opening to be sure. I wasn’t aware that tweeting styles even existed, but exist they do. Are you a substantive, conversational, or compromising style tweeter? Check this article out to help you determine which you are!