Making Social Media Relevant to Learning

June 2, 2009 at 10:39 am 3 comments

From ReadWriteWeb:

“Teachers are always trying to combat student apathy and University of Texas at Dallas History Professor, Monica Rankin, has found an interesting way to do it using Twitter in the classroom. Rankin uses a weekly hashtag to organize comments, questions and feedback posted by students to Twitter during class.”

(Be sure to watch the video to get a feel for how this works.)

I applaud Rankin for her visionary thinking and willingness to dive into social media!  Her experiment exemplifies not only her willingness to innovate, but her understanding that lesson delivery must be relevant and engaging for 21st century kids.   Twitter is a tool that many educators wrestle with to make useful in classroom settings, and Rankin has worked out a way to make Twitter applicable to academic life.

Through our PlumbBrain Micro-Communities we’re excited about the many ways we can social networking and other social media tools relevant and useful to schools — students, teachers and parents.  

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Entry filed under: Communication, Education, Kids, Learning, Online Tools, Parents, PlumbBrain, School, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology, Youth. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Research Reinforces Social Media Key to Reach Kids Making the Most of Ypulse Mashup 2009

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. masaji777  |  June 2, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Unsettling how rivetted students are to their machines as opposed to the prof who seems to have the monumental job of sorting through reams of messages. Interesting gimmick but is it anything really more than that? The medium really is the message here.

  • 2. Amy Strecker  |  June 3, 2009 at 7:44 am

    @masaji777 — thanks for your thoughts!

    Without seeing the content of the tweets, it is hard to judge their value; I’d be very interested to check them out. Iif utilizing Twitter is giving more students a voice in class discussions and promoting intellectual dialogue between students, professors andTAs, then it’s more than just a gimmick.

    I hope to find out if Prof Rankin continues to use Twitter in future classes.

  • 3. Amy Looper  |  June 13, 2009 at 10:00 am

    I loved this story when I heard about it. I think it’s awesome because this is exactly what students are asking for–“make our classes relevant and meet us where we live, with technology!”

    Interestingly, I had coffee one afternoon (BT–before Twitter ;- ) with a very forward thinking law professor who realized she needed to reach into her student’s thinking process and engage them in a more meaningful dialogue in a new way rather than just standing up in front of them in class delivering the same old “talk at you” thing. Her question to me was “how can I use some sort of technology to engage them?” At the time cell phone texting was about all we could leverage. But that had some expense associated with it. Well, Dr. G here’s your answer! Tweet!


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