Instructors have found new ways to create an interactive learning environment by using the popular social media modalities. One example of this is integrating Twitter in the classroom. What is twitter? Twitter is a social media site that allows you to send messages out up to 140 characters. Instructors can create specific Twitter accounts putting the students on these accounts and then tweeting announcements, which pop up on the students’ phones instantly or their computer. This method has been tested successfully in our online classrooms.
Often times you can run into a student who may not have a smartphone or does not want to deal with getting a twitter account and in that case you would need to keep them in the loop with email. Also remember that Twitter is limited on what you can say. So the tweets have to be short and to the point. One example is “reminder paper due tonight at midnight”. What I like about this is the new generation uses all of these modalities, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. So this is easy and familiar to them. The struggle is with the older generation who may not have adapted to this new social media technology. I myself found it tough to switch over as I felt it was just a waste of time. But as a friend of mine says fish were the fish our, we are learning that technology and social media are pulling the students in, especially on online platforms.
This is just one popular modality that we use within social media in online classrooms. In particulate this translates well into a DigitalChalk platform. Additional modalities exist, however many have not been tested yet. Myself and my colleagues have successfully tested secret Facebook groups, LinkedIn and Twitter. I encourage you to test this out. The best way to utilize new technology is to try one thing at a time. Its take a little time to master but I think you will enjoy integrating in these new technologies and creating a more dynamic online classroom.
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Written by: Dr. Julie Ducharme
For the last 15 years Dr. Ducharme has been working with corporations, colleges and universities in San Diego and outside of San Diego as well teaching, directing and consulting on curriculum, running colleges, and instructing as well. Dr. Ducharme holds a BA in communication, MBA with a specialization in marketing, and a DBA with a specialization in Leadership. Dr. Ducharme is a public speaker and has spoken with and at many universities across the U.S. and corporations on leadership, business, and marketing. She currently is the owner/creator/CEO of JD Consulting LLC, the owner/creator/CEO of Julie’s Party People, and the creator/president of Synergy Learning Institute.