Student voice and the Twitter experiment


A few days ago my friend Dan sent me a link to a story about Dr. Monica Rankin’s “Twitter Experiment” which she explains in the video at the top of this post. It highlighted for me just how easy it can be to begin investigating the potential of some of these web2.0 technologies within the conventional classroom (albeit in this case a university setting.)

Some key ideas that I saw canvassed in the video:

– limitations and opportunities of the 140 character limit

– students using a variety of technologies for contributing

– the ability of people to “join from afar’ (including the lecturer)

– increased engagement of a class of 90 students!

– the ability to review and follow up after class

I couldn’t help but notice that they were using the web interface of Twitter for their contributions, and wonder how much more might be added to the experience if they were to use something like TweetDeck or Seesmic which would provide the opportunity to more directly monitor replies and direct messages for instance.

Dr Rankin has posted some her thoughts on the experiment online that provide a more useful reflection after watching the video.

I applaud her approach to trying something new here, captured in her final comment on the video: “Yes, it’s going to be messy. But messy doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be bad“.

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