Monday, May 4, 2009

Twitter as a Teaching/Learning Tool

A recent thread on the NMC (New Media Consortium)Technology Advisory Board list bubbled up a number of ideas and links re this topic. On May 1st, Jared Bendis posted the following:

Subject: Re: twitter as an effective tool

This semester I did an exercise with my New Media Literacy students
using a Twitter application I wrote called TweetMyPaper.

The premise of the application is Word Processing meets Text Messaging
where the students had to write their papers 'one tweet at a time'
without the possibility of deleting or editing.

Students had to face the contradiction that in school they are taught
to edit and revise and be very careful to craft the perfect paper
while real life interpersonal communication has them that it's ok to
just shout out their ideas line by line.

They had to use the tool for two of their assignments - in one they
had to describe their perfect virtual world (in at least 30 tweets)
and in the other they had to describe how they would utilize an AI
teddy bear (in at least 35 tweets).

Not being able to edit forced the students to pay more attention to
their words and they found themselves proofing their composition line
by line in a way that they normally tend not to do when word
processing - the general idea being that they will go back and edit
(even though they often don't). As a teacher I found their typos and
missing periods endearing and a sign that they weren't cheating.

The linearity of the tool also causes the students to tell their
papers more like stories - weaving them as they went (they were not
allowed to outline or write them first in another program).

Lastly they were told that the work was going to be public and to
remember that they were not writing but authoring and to keep in mind
that anyone could see.

You are welcome to see their papers or use the tool yourself (or in
your classes) at:

Jared E Bendis
Creative Director of New Media - Case Western Reserve University |
Office: 216-368-4399 | Cell: 216-288-6349

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