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Reasons to Twitter? There are a bunch now!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
So many technologies to keep track of the past few years. Rarely does anyone point out how to use them. Too often people become pessimistic due to the lack of examples or immediate success. Too often the naysayers win the debate without adequate trial periods and we educators move on to the next tool or system. In response, I try to make lists of pedagogical uses of technology in my blog posts (see below), books, presentations, journal articles, classes, etc. The following link is to a blog of Professor David Parry from the Emerging Media and Communications Department at the University of Texas at Dallas on reasons or ways one might use Twitter as an instructor, trainer, student, etc.

I can use some of these I think--instant feedback for student work, having them follow a famous person and perhaps be indirectly apprenticed by him or her, recording creative thoughts and ideas in a public notepad, writing continuous short stories that others in a group add to, tracking a particular conference, and creating a sense of a classroom community. All of these are ways Dr. Parry lists as uses of Twitter. Creativity, feedback, apprenticeship, communities, collaboration, etc. are all evident in his ideas. These may be short bursts of learning and conversation (since you are limited to 140 characters of text), but pithy summaries and writing in nutshell what has been thought, said, or presented somewhere, has been shown for decades to be effective by cognitive psychologists. Summary writing forces the reorganization and rehearsal of ideas.

I think Dr. Parry has done an excellent job of moving the debate forward. Thank you Professor Parry!!! It is just one technology, but there are myriad practical (and some not so practical) uses for it in the classroom. How else might you use a tool like Twitter?
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  posted by Curt Bonk @ 1:00 PM  
  • At 1:47 PM, Blogger Heather R said…


    Are you on Twitter?

    Heather Ross (McToonish)

  • At 7:48 PM, Blogger Dan said…

    That's my question too. I'm seouldaddy (don't regular name was taken)


  • At 2:48 PM, Blogger Curt Bonk said…

    Hey Dan and Heather. No I am not yet on Twitter. Hope that does not make me a hypocrite. Ouch!

  • At 8:07 AM, Blogger Curt Bonk said…

    I created a Twitter account under the name "travelinedman." Not sure if I will use it much yet.

  • At 1:47 PM, Blogger Richard Schwier said…

    Watch out for Twitter, Curt. I love it (after a rocky courtship), and now I keep it at hand most of the time. Definitely addictive if you follow your friends.

    Enjoyed your follow-up piece on interview questions.


  • At 2:23 PM, Blogger Curt Bonk said…

    Thanks for the warning Rick. And I am glad you liked the piece.

  • At 5:22 AM, Blogger emily said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 11:09 PM, Blogger marry said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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About Me

Name: Curt Bonk
Home: Bloomington, Indiana, United States
About Me: I am a former accountant and CPA and a former educational psychologist. I am now Professor of IST at Indiana University and also adjunct in the School of Informatics. I founded and later sold SurveyShare. As president of CourseShare, LLC, I run around the world training instructors to teach online and give motivational talks about emerging learning technologies. I also write and edit books related to e-learning and blended learning. See bio and vita.

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Click here for information about my recent book, The World is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education.

Visit the Indiana University Home Page of E-Learning Expert Curtis J. Bonk.

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