Today was the Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s very first Twitter seminar. This event was devoted to teaching newbies, and advance users, the art of using Tweeter, and why and how it should be used among learning institutions. If you are wondering, “Kweetup” was the hashtag (# hash mark) used to track the tweets before, during and after the event.
If you are interested, go here to see the trending tweets for Canada: Trending Canada. At this time #Kweetup was trending at the top of the list as a emerging trend. Not bad for just some forty people and a bunch of laptops!
Although I consider myself a medium weight user of Twitter, since March of 2008, I did take with me some really good points that I did not know about previous to my Twitter exposure. I did not know how instantaneous tweeting can be: almost right to the second once the tweet was posted. Also, that so few professionals in education use Tweeter because of various issues and lack of information and exposure. I was happy to see that there is a push to get both instructors and students geared towards tweeting, especially in the classroom.
Yes, tweeting in the classroom! For me I think that this is a great idea because it gives students and instructors a chance to text among themselves, and for the instructor to be brought in closer to answer questions, and gauge the level of the material about the course. It will add another dimension to the classroom that is positive.
Students will do it anyway, so now you are encouraging them to keep the Blackberry and Iphone above the desk instead of hiding them under the desk, as was pointed out in the seminar. Hey, the focus is now fully on the class instead of being a covert action with erroneous texting. By having students responding and asking questions through tweeting, I think, gives a whole new order to the student instructor relationship. Now students are not bound to the confines of a three hour class session to ask questions. Unlike email, students can tweet with a much higher rate of being answered than just an email does. An email does not have the same effect as a Tweet.
Emails are inefficient compared to tweets. We think of email as spam when we send out emails to a large body of people. Twitter, on the other hand, is the opposite because we follow, and the text is short, 140 characters long, which is perfect for just getting the point address without the salutations and excess text that an email has. Micro-blogging, as Twitter is called, means that someone just posts a text message, and you can respond to it whenever you wish, but so does everyone else who is following. And most important, everyone sees it, and it stays there!
I enjoyed the Kweetup very much. I hope the future events will yield more people to show up and participate. These events are good, and it helps spread the world. Kwantlen students are still very hard to find on Twitter. Welcome to the Twitterverse!
ADDED: January 15, 2011
For a really good link that explains the art and concept of Twitter, and Tweeting, have a look at this website: Mom, This is How Twitter Works. Special thanks to @Hummingbird604 for sharing this.