Thursday, February 17, 2011

E learning through Social Networking –#2(Twitter)

In this age of micro blogging and social networking, we wanted to look at the usage of twitter in e-learning. “E learning in 140 characters-You must be kidding.”
This is exactly what we thought when we started to explore this possibility. But it showed us a vast ocean of opportunity through which we can leverage Twitter in e learning.

Twitter provides us with a unique communication platform where both synchronous as well as asynchronous communication can take place. This is important because it allows a teacher the best of both forms of communication and the ability to utilize the power of them using just one application. So we could request information the night before and then return to those responses after some time. On the other hand we could help on the spot or current time frame when it is needed. When we are planning to use Twitter as part of a lesson or to support learning the asynchronous facet of Twitter communication is perhaps the most useful. We can gather responses to a tweet over a short period of time and return to explore them with the class.

Some of the other ways in which twitter has been used in e learning are:
  • Twitter can be used as a teaching as well as a learning tool. Like minded professionals can get together and share their learnings and how they go about e learning.
  • Most of the people compare twitter with the river that is flowing In the case of learning also, people prefer flow learning rather than directed learning. If you are one of them, then Twitter is the place to be in. Here you can start a topic and just #tag it and spread it among your peers. If the topic is interesting, it just catches on and in a week or so, you can see the topic trending.
  • Twitter provides with such a vast amount of content and information that you are spoiled for choices when you want to execute a particular task.
  • It can be used as a market research tool to get feedback from various teachers and students from all over the world. This will provide us with best practices from around the world.
  • In a conference, people can tweet their questions with the same # (hash) Tag. Through this, we can get immediate feedback to the questions
Though the above things might sound a little too geeky for beginners, some of the things that any one new to social media and twitter can do is:

Follow the Experts in the respective fields: Search for experts in a particular field and follow them. You could learn a lot from their tweets. If you have any doubts, you can even ask them in twitter.

Follow the Subject itself: We can follow a particular subject, especially if it’s a popular one, by just adding a hash tag (#) to the subject and searching for it. We will get a lot of information and content through which we can do our learning.

Build a network of learners: There’s no reason why we couldn’t use Twitter to help facilitate a community of practice.The real value in social media is the ability to connect people who share similar interests and get them to exchange ideas. If you are a teacher, ask the learners to use Twitter to share their thoughts. For example, instead of giving them an assignment, make the assignment their Twitter stream. They need to reflect on what they’re learning in the course and then share that with others. Another way to get them involved is to have them share links and other information relevant to what they’ve learned. Even if the course content is proprietary, there’s no reason why they couldn’t go out and look for other thought leaders or groups in the same industry to build on what they’re learning in your course.

So what are you guys waiting for? Go and start tweeting about e learning!!

Note: The e learning Hash tag (#elearning) is very much a popular one among regular users of twitter. It helps them to keep track of all the latest happenings in e learning field. So when you tweet, try to tweet with that Hash Tag to get a wider range of audience.

No comments:

Post a Comment