Monday, September 27, 2010

Mod 7. How might I use microblogs for teaching?

I registered for Twitter more than 3 years ago, but within a week after registration, I have stopped using it even in my first language. The reason was because I had to check overwhelming amount of updated posts every day and could not keep up with the speed of posting.
In class activities, teachers can use micro-blogs for taking a survey simply asking if students think yes/no or multiple choices. In addition, if students need opinions and comments from outsiders for completing projects, they might use the tool effectively.
Honestly, I do not think using micro-blogging for classroom activities is highly beneficial, because tweets might be mere piles of shallower-thought posts than blogging.  If you compare these two tools, blogging would need a certain consideration and elaboration for publishing our thoughts. On the other hand, micro-blogging might not have to be such a thoughtful post because hundreds of tweets appear and disappear in an instant; or rather, ‘quickness’ of posting and reply might be a key characteristic for any activities using micro-blogging. Therefore, there might be some problems when you use micro-blogging in class activities. For example, if some people in a class have smartphones and some do not, those who do not have ones need to sit in front of a computer when they want to access it; otherwise, they will miss opportunity to join a conversation.
Two articles I have read for writing this post (1) "Can we use Twitter for educational activities?" and 2) "7 things you should know about microblogging") also discussed both advantages and disadvantages of micro-blogging. I would focus on bad points here; for example, microblogging might make students, especially who can access it via smartphones, addictive to the Internet. Since they do not know when new information arrives in their devices, they need to check their teacher’s micro-blog many times a day. It will not be an appropriate use of technology because the purpose of using technology in a classroom is to make them smart users of technology not technology ‘geeks.’
I guess it is difficult for micro-blogging to survive as an excellent learning tool in the future because it does not have many advantages when compared with facebook, Voice thread, or blogging, because micro-blogging originally aimed at communicating one’s thoughts or state to others privately not publicly such as social networking. Just like you might not want to read teachers hundreds of private tweets only for finding deadline for submitting an assignment. In this case, e-mail would be a better tool to send the message to students. Teachers should be careful for making proper use of the useful tools.
On the other hand, as for professional development, yes, you can meet many people online through micro-blogs who you could not have met otherwise. You can build your community and ask questions to your followers or other users there. This is a wonderful tool!!

1 comment:

  1. You have touched on some very good points about the advantages and disadvantages of micro-blogging. Sometimes for professional development, it is easier to stay in touch with bloggers who post too often through Twitter than to read through their multiple posts.

    In the future it will be interesting to see if Facebook changes the usefulness of other social networking/educational tools.

    Dr. Burgos