Twitter for Academic Purposes (TAP)

EAP and social media

New Year, new term, new students, new teaching practices. The aims and learning outcomes are the same, though, and I’m going to test the relative affordances of using twitter for academic purposes to achieve these with my new student cohort, starting on Monday.

I would really welcome your thoughts and suggestions as I do this. I plan to share how my term goes as far as TAP is concerned and will acknowledge any contributions accordingly.

So far, I’ve come up with the following list of affordances based on the teaching and learning aims of my context, and loosely based on the need to ensure that we address written communication both in terms of the skills it requires and the social practice it is.

Twitter affords:

  • brevity (i.e good for selective and purposeful summaries)
  • speed and conciseness of expression (rather than foregrounding accuracy)
  • clarity (in relation to audience awareness)
  • the expression of stance (building an academic identity)
  • brainstorming, including the sharing of resources for a project
  • collaborative work (building a learning community of practice)
  • creativity (in terms of multimodality, e.g. complementing a tweet with an image or video)
here i come!
Academia here I come!

TAP references:

2 thoughts on “Twitter for Academic Purposes (TAP)”

  1. I have tried to use Twitter with students (started trying in 2010), but it largely devolved into them using it to contact me quickly (they knew I was always there) and figuring out which university departments and organisations to follow (this was pretty useful). A long time ago, I wrote a couple little posts on using it, but I have to admit it never stuck because another tool seemed to work better for class purposes (or I just didn’t persist).

    Good stuff and good luck!

    1. Thank you Tyson – your caveat reminds of a requirement that Mark Warschauer and /or Carol Chapelle gave (will find ref): i.e. that we need to use CALL (computer assisted language learning) for pedagogic purposes that would or could not otherwise be achieved f-2-f, or other. On verra!

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