For those who have wondered – as I have – whether the ‘micro-blog’ site Twitter could be used successfully in teaching, here’s a story that suggests that it could be. According to a report in the US Chronicle of Higher Education, Purdue University in Indiana has set up a program that allows student to ask questions in class by using Twitter on their computers or phones; they can even make their questions anonymous, for those who feel nervous about identifying themselves in case their question is considered stupid.
According to the report, others have tried it also, sometimes with mixed effects. It seems that the important requirement is that the lecturer needs to be forceful enough to stay in control, while also allowing the interaction with students to guide the content. However, as class attendance has become an increasingly difficult issue in universities all over the world, new techniques that might stimulate more interest could contribute to more participation.
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