You are on page 1of 46

why students really don't get microblogging

Alternative sub-titles
Why Twitter is as appealing to students as a bucket of cold vomit Twitter is dead Why some of our students just don't get microblogging

About me
Tony McNeill Principal Lecturer in Educational Technology Academic Development Centre @anthonymcneill #durbbu10

About my Twitter projects
Supporting student engagement with Twitter
3 projects: English Literature (18)
Media & Cultural Studies (80+) Engineering (200+)

Student resistance to Twitter

Why Twitter?

Established a hashtag

Staff development

Created schedule of activities

Modelled good practice

Offered encouragement

Summarised and supported

Getting to grips with Twitter

Social interactions

Resource sharing (1)

Resource sharing (2)

Peer acknowledgement

Engagement with activities

Discussion of coursework

Problems and queries

Outside stuff

Tweets by month

Oct: 81 tweets Nov:15 tweets Dec: 6 tweets

Tweets per student

Twitter accounts pre-module

Twitter use pre-module (1)
I’ve actually got a Twitter account, I set up a different one for the module … um … but I never used it, all I did was follow celebrities. When Katie [Price] and Peter [Andre] were splitting up it was quite handy ‘cos I could see what was going on.(Roz)

Twitter use pre-module (2)
I had an account, but I … generally, I didn't ever really use it. I followed quite a few people, sort of celebrities and stuff but wasn't .. I didn't check it every day. […] I wasn't a user but I did have an account so I was very aware of it. (Amelia)

Two positive views
• I was already addicted to it - I use it as a way of keeping in touch quickly and conveniently with people • It is ok, good way of keeping in contact with some people

Four negative views
• Much prefer Facebook as you're not restricted on the word count. And more applications. • Was not interested, seemed complicated • Slightly self indulgent … • … thought it seemed boring compared to MySpace and Facebook

Students mainly indifferent
• Didn't think about using it as I was already on Facebook • I didn't really think about it, as I already had Facebook • Same ideas as Facebook • … just another social networking site. Nothing special. Celebrities used it. • I felt it was a celebrity marketing tool

What Roz said
Because I don’t go on Twitter a lot, I didn’t become second nature to me just to go on it; it was something I had to think about. I think it [Facebook] would have worked a whole lot better; I think you would have had tweeting every day … well, not tweeting, facebooking every day, … um … commenting everyday.

What Amelia said
Starting the module, I was quite interested to see how it would work. I started, I did use it and then it sort of dropped off my radar just ‘cos I wasn’t using it everyday or whatever. […] I love the idea of Twitter but I guess it’s [i.e. not using it] almost entirely because my close friends and family don’t use it.

Technology-mediated routines
A lot of my friends say they do the same; they’ll go and do their work, their coursework, but before they can even do anything they check, it’s like a routine: you check your emails and you check your Facebook. You get distracted for about an hour and then you start doing your work. But you always leave Facebook on in the corner just in case someone might want to get in contact with you. (Roz)

Why Twitter?

Why not Facebook?

Answers on a postcard

About me (again)
Tony McNeill Principal Lecturer in Educational Technology Academic Development Centre @anthonymcneill