Spending time on social networking sites is a given in this day and age, but what does it mean for other areas of our lives? Some see these websites as a threat and a path for alienation in terms of human communication, while others see them as the best tool for enhancing and allowing the exact same thing. With millions of users in tow, these social network websites are here to stay, and finding a way to integrate them in how we see and learn things is of the utmost importance. Twitter, the well known social network, has even been put to a test, whose main purpose was to evaluate capabilities of Twitter as an educational tool.
Twitter as an Educational Tool
Image Credit: classroomoven.com
The first notable experiment involving Twitter as an educational tool used a number of 125 students. 70 of them were required to use Twitter in their educational activities, while 55 of them were required to use traditional methods.
The results were even more than the researchers could assume prior to the experiment:
- The Twitter group showed almost twice more engagement in studies through the semester than the ‘traditional’ group
- Final grades showed a .51 better GPA rating for the Twitter group
Advantages of using Twitter as an Educational Tool
1. Increased participation
Teachers and professors know how difficult is to interact with over 200 students during a 90 minutes lecture, so Twitter comes quite handy in terms of participation, as it allows students to address the questions they were not able to communicate in class, and to receive answers in a timely and convenient fashion.
2. The shyness barrier
A lot of students prefer to remain silent in class even when they do not understand difficult concepts, because they are afraid to be seen as unable to grasp what is taught or downright stupid. Through Twitter, they no longer have to fear that dozens of eyes will stare them down while they ask a question, which is a big plus, especially for people that are shy by nature.
3. Cutting costs
Keeping seminars and other classes that require a large space to accommodate many students can be daunting, especially during recession times. Twitter allows cutting costs on hosting large seminars that can now be attended by an important number of students.
4. Active learning
By allowing students to be part of the learning process, active learning is promoted. Through Twitter, it is much easier for students to communicate their ideas and opinions. The fast exchange of thoughts increases the value of learning, a thing that is now more and more valued by professors and students alike.
5. Extending learning outside the class
Twitter also allows for other advantages to appear. Extending learning outside the class used to be a challenge for any teacher, as it is very difficult to keep the students interested while they are not in school. Twitter, on the other hand, can be used as a tool to stimulate and motivate them to learn more and understand more during extra time.
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