I'll be giving a brief talk this friday at "The Secret Revolution" Tech/Ed conference at the College (1:50pm, Student Center). I'll discuss my experiment this year using Twitter in the classroom (you can check it out on Twitter at #kscabn (for my class in Abnormal Psychology) or #kscautism (for my Seminar in Autism). I'll show some student Tweets, talk about some cool surprises, and wonder about the future. I'll also exhibit my own neurosis by talking out of two sides of my mouth: The wonderful effects of using technology in the classroom and...my fears of losing the importance of in-class dialogue about ideas, reading books...and even walking in the woods without your iPhone.
A few emerging ideas from using Twitter in the classroom:
1. More college students (about 25%) are using Twitter for social reasons, a significant change in just one semester (my observation)
2. Students use Twitter primarily for social communication with small tribes of friends and for some silly reason: to follow movie stars and rock stars who may not even write their own tweets
3. Some students love it. Some hate it.
4. Some students use it effectively to exchange information about ideas related to class topics (e.g., in Abnormal Psychology and Autism)
5. People who are not in the class may "jump in" and join a conversation with my students.
6. I can reinforce thinking about new ideas in Psychology by responding to students' tweets
7. Some college students need to learn how to avoid leaving negative digital footprints if they hope to go to graduate school or get a job after graduation (my warning)
8. Faculty can use Twitter to archive material for class (articles, clips)
And, of course, we can't forget that teaching is really about ideas...Today I used a chalkboard to build a model (I had to turn the data projector light off so we could see the board):
And when I ran out of room on the Chalkboard, I surprised my students (and myself) by writing (with chalk) on the seminar table:
When the students asked for a copy, I simply snapped a pic with my phone and pop in to my blog (here it is). My blog posts are automatically tweeted, so they'll pick up the links there on their own phones or computers....my head is spinning...