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Monday, October 31, 2011

Twitter in the Classroom, ctd

Earlier in the semester, I promised to try Twitter in my Writing for Business class at Grand View University. Tonight, I made good on that promise. Instead of meeting for class, we chatted on Twitter from about 5:30 until 7:30, using the hashtag #vikechat. I started out by tweeting the following article from Forbes, "5 Reasons Why Your Online Presence will Replace your Resume in 10 Years" and asking them a question about it. In our previous meeting, I had asked them to respond to me first, and then to engage in back-and-forth tweeting with their classmates related to the topic. I told them it was okay to go off topic. The purpose of the session was to a) discuss an article related to an upcoming writing assignment, and b) try out Twitter by experimenting with a Twitter chat. My contention was that Twitter presents a new form of business writing. A few students had Twitter accounts, but almost no one had used it beyond a one or two test-tweets. The chat was a success. The students were engaged in the conversation and requested we do it more often. (Of course, that could have been a ploy to get out of meeting face-to-face.) Several outstanding points were made about the need to manage our online image and whether or not companies were fair to monitor our online "private" lives. I suspect that, given the requirement to join in the conversation, students who would normally stay quiet participated in the talk. Furthermore, we now have a record of our discussion. I plan on copying and pasting it and using it as a launching point for more in-class discussion.


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