Twitter is a “micro-blogging service” that allows individuals to instantly post thoughts, ideas, anything to the Internet through their account (Perez-Carballo & Blaszczynski, 2014). These messages known as “tweets” are seen by the account holders “followers.” Twitter can be accessed from any device with an Internet connection. Followers can “re-tweet” other’s tweets, allowing their own followers to see what they are reading. The ability to spread a single tweet is enormous!
Twitter’s limited space of 140 characters makes the use of Twitter somewhat limited in education. While instructors cannot really post full assignments or curriculum material, there are other beneficial uses. Instant communication back and forth between instructors and students and between students and students is one of the main benefits. Instructors can remind students of upcoming lessons, provide links to helpful sites, and even post review questions (National Education Association, n.d.). Additionally, with the amount of professionals that use Twitter, connecting with an author, scientist, or other educational professional is a huge benefit!
Informal learning through Twitter is highly probable, students who “follow” their instructor are likely to find information from not only their own class, but from other classes the instructor teaches and from whomever the instructor follows. Students from other classes and individuals outside the education realm may follow that instructor or even one of the students to learn more about a subject or something they posted. The ability to connect with like-minded people opens the door wide for informal learning (Ramirez, 2013). Individuals can “follow” users simply because what they are saying is interesting, this leads to informal learning (Andersen, 2011).
Getting started on Twitter requires only the Internet and an account. Visit Twitter’s official website and sign up for a free account, once you are in you can begin tweeting or searching for topics or users. Do not be surprised if you suddenly have followers of your own who enjoy your thoughts and ideas!
To learn more on Twitter in education visit the following sites:
Dunn, J. (2011). The ultimate guide to using Twitter in education. Retrieved from http://www.edudemic.com/twitter-in-education/
Miller, S. (n.d.). 50 ways to use Twitter in the classroom. Retrieved from http://www.teachhub.com/50-ways-use-twitter-classroom
National Education Association. (n.d.). Can tweeting help your teaching? Retrieved from http://www.nea.org/home/32641.htm
Andersen, M. H. (2011). The world is my school: Welcome to the era of personalized learning. The Futurist, 45(1), 12-17.
Perez-Carballo, J. & Blaszczynski, C. (2014). A study of the use of social media by business college students. Journal of Organizational Culture, Communication and Conflict, 18(1), 29-40.
Ramirez, A. G. (2013). Science and diversity: Be like twitter, not Facebook. JOM, 65(7), 834.
Pinterest is a social photo, video, and quote sharing site (Wiid, Cant, & Nell, 2013). Users can post images known as “pins” that when clicked take you to a site with more information on that topic such as how to build what was in the image or where to purchase the items found in the image. Users can create personalized sites with their favorite topics and pins.
Utilizing Pinterest in education can be very beneficial for not only students, but for instructors as well! Instructors can find visual aids from other users and upload their own, building a collection site for use in the classroom or e-classroom. Students can create accounts and pin the same images their instructors did, clicking on the image will lead them to a whole new learning opportunity as they will be taken to a site that further explores what was in the image!
Pinterest can be very helpful in formal educational learning. Instructors can use pins and share them with their class. They can ask them to locate a pin related to a particular subject, for example a birdhouse, and then ask them to build it using the link from the image.
Registration is required and is free. Once you have created your account, you can start searching instantly and from any device! Create your own images for others to search or begin searching and pinning others to your own board.
To learn more on Pinterest in education visit the following sites:
BBC Active. (2010). Using Pinterest for education. Retrieved from http://www.bbcactive.com/BBCActiveIdeasandResources/UsingPinterestforEducation.aspx
Edudemic. (n.d.). The teacher’s guide to Pinterest. Retrieved from http://www.edudemic.com/guides/the-teachers-guide-to-pinterest/
Sheninger, E. (2012). Pinterest for educators? Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/pinterest-for-educators
Green, J., & Green, T. (2014). Techspotting. TechTrends, 58(1), 11-12. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11528-013-0710-9
Merz, J. R. (2014). Capturing a wealth of resources: A review of educational technology and mobile learning web site. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 80(2), 49-51. R
Wiid, J., Cant, M. C., & Nell, C. (2013). Open distance learning students’ perception of the use of social media networking systems as an educational tool. The International Business & Economics Research Journal (Online), 12(8), 867-n/a.
Many do not realize the vast capabilities with Skype! One may not think of Skype in the social media context; but, you really need to know what Skype can do and how it qualifies as social media. Skype allows face-to-face conversations over the computer, cell phone, or other devices. Individuals can conduct group conversations, send messages, and send files.
Educators can host conference calls with their students or bring in guest speakers (Morgan, 2013). Students can work together with their classmates on projects and assignments through collaboration. Educators can take students on virtual field trips, allowing them to learn about things around the world without having to leave the classroom.
Skype’s formal learning capabilities are endless! Educators can setup discussions and virtual meetings with other educators, students, and leading professionals in the field. Instructors can create real-time presentations to their students at anytime and from any place (Cohen & Burkhardt, 2010).
Getting started with Skype requires webcam capabilities, an Internet connection, and a Skype account. Once you are signed up, you can begin connecting by sending messages or connecting via virtual face-to-face real-time conversations. You can connect between two people or a group of people!
To learn more about Skype in education visit:
Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. (2016). The complete guide to the use of Skype in education. Retrieved from http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/06/complete-guide-to-use-of-skype-in.html
Microsoft. (2016). Skype in the classroom. Retrieved from https://education.microsoft.com/skypeintheclassroom
Skype. (2016). Skype blogs. Retrieved from http://blogs.skype.com/tag/education/
Cohen, S. F., & Burkhardt, A. (2010). Even an ocean away: Developing Skype-based reference for students studying abroad. Reference Services Review, 38(2), 264-273. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00907321011045025
Michels, B. J., & Chang, C. (2011). Attending a presentation at a distance in real-time via skype. TechTrends, 55(1), 23-27.
Morgan, H. (2013). Using skype for exciting projects. Childhood Education, 89(3), 197-199.
Social media and education are not two things that one typically thinks of going together. But, what this section of the guide has taught us, are the numerous uses of social media and learning. Connectivity plays a huge part of learning and each of these types of social media allow for that connection. Using social media in learning and education offers a unique ability to interact instantly and from anyplace. Teachers, trainers, and learners can connect and discuss questions, events, assignments, and learning in general.