Proverbs 23:12a Apply your heart to instruction.

Ten Ways to Synchronize Your Online Class with Twitter

Ever make a blogger’s sorta-kinda promise? If you agree upon request to write or say something intelligible sometime about a topic of mutual interest, then you have made a blogger’s sorta-kinda promise.

Introduction: In Fall, 2013, I had the opportunity to deliver a workshop for the North Carolina Association of College and Teacher Educators (NC-ACTE), “How Asynchronous Should Your Online Class Be?” The workshop covers the theory and practice of infusing an asynchronous course with synchronous learning. That is a variety of blended learning. The NC-ACTE is a wonderful organization. They patiently listened to me. For this blog post I shall cut-to-the-chase and focus upon the way one tool only can infuse synchronous teachable moments within an asynchronous course. The tool is Twitter, and the practical applications are tenfold. I shall assume you are using a Learning Management System (LMS) for your asynchronous class. My LMS is Moodle. Also, I shall assume the student has two accounts – a LMS account and a Twitter account. To keep things simple I am just working with Twitter and my LMS and not SM tool-ups like HootSuite or TweetDeck . Here we go.

Ten: Ask students to find and follow a #trending hashtag as an assignment.

Nine: Insert into the LMS a Twitter widget. It will work like a RSS feed to keep synchronous Twitter posts before the class.

Eight: Ask students to join an organized Twitter chat. Just jump in. Some well- heeled Twitter chats welcome student and guests. Susan M. Bearden @s_bearden who is an organizer of #edtechchat loves to have newbies join the discussion on Monday at 8PM EST.

Seven: This is a two-step. First, ask students to create or adopt a Class #101 List, and second, add their classmates to the list. Check the list to see what classmates are doing in real time on Twitter.

Six: Have student follow a syndicated service like the Wall Street Journal, @WSJ In real time you can scan the daily headlines or get the closing numbers for the DOW and other indexes.

Five: Have students follow a Twitter “Big-bird.” There are plenty of Twitter “Big-bird” personalities that you can follow. Some syndicated columnists like Greta Van Sustern @gretawire are going to tweet-up the entire day. (If I grow up, perhaps I can be a “Big-bird.”)

Big Bird

Four: Conduct a Twitter scavenger hunt. You supply the names or the hashtags, and allow the students to discover tweets with information needed to answer questions for class.

Three: Tag a Tweep in your PLN to organize a demo Twitter chat for your class. Have student follow your #demohash. This allows students to lurk until they get familiar with the standard Q-and-A format used in most Twitter chats.

Two: Invite students to submit a #101 hashtag for their very own class. Take a vote. I would suggest that you use Padlet @padlet for this, but then I would introduce a new tool. So, make the submissions in a LMS discussion forum.

One: Create a unique #101 class hashtag, and invite students to follow it at a designated time for a #101 class chat. It works for Mrs. Alice Keeler @alicekeeler, it will work for you.

Back in the day we would say tune again at the “same Bat-time and the same Bat-channel.” Might need to update that, don’t you think?

Twitter Bird


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