Hashtags for Social Change

Twitter users hashtaguse hashtags to aggregate and find posts relevant to a particular topic. The folks at Socialbrite have created a very useful list called, “45 hashtags for social change.” Check it out even if you don’t currently have a Twitter account. Seeing the posts under hashtags for topics of interest to you might help you better understand how Twitter could be of value to your communications strategy.

Study suggests that using twitter may enhance student learning

A newly-published study in the Journal of Computer Assissted Learning, “provides experimental evidence that Twitter can be used as an educational tool to help engage students and to mobilize faculty into a more active and participatory role.” In the study, college students who used Twitter for educational purposes earned GPAs a half-point higher than a non-tweeting control group. See the link below to get the full article.

“The effect of Twitter on college student engagement and grades,” R. Junco1,G. Heiberger and E. Loken, Journal of Computer Assissted Learning, 12 NOV 2010

Teaching with Twitter

Take a look at this recent blog post by Mark Sample on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s ProfHacker blog. It looks at potential benefits of using Twitter as a teaching tool. The potential for immediate, concise reflection, as well as providing another way for less vocal students to add to discussions might also make it a good addition to civic engagement efforts.

“[Twitter] can be an effective one-way communication tool for sharing news or broadcasting links over the weekend. Or it can be used in class itself as a two-way backchannel. Or try Twitter as a platform for reflective thinking, asking students at the end of class to sum up the most valuable lesson of the day. In my experience, having only 140 characters to do so will actually make it much more likely the students give a concise and focused reflection, rather than some canned response they think you want to hear.” MORE