Twitter has been a popular form of communication at Routledge for several years now, and has proven to be a very immediate, personal and fun way of communicating with librarians, academics and students. It also looks like Twitter is a growing communication channel within academic institutions, between students and lecturers, and between the students themselves. A recent study conducted at Michigan State University has confirmed the growing use and importance of Twitter as a learning tool. Read on for a full low down.
"The students get more engaged because they feel it is connected to something real"
Assistant Professor of Education at Michigan State University, Christine Greenhow, conducted a study entitled “Twitteracy: Tweeting is a New Literary Practice”, the results of which were published in the Taylor & Francis journal The Educational Forum. In it, she found that college students who tweet as part of their instruction are more engaged with the course content, the teacher, other students, and they have higher grades.
“Tweeting can be thought of as a new literary practice,” said Greenhow, who also studies the growing use of social media among high-schoolers. “It’s changing the way we experience what we read and what we write.” “The students get more engaged because they feel it is connected to something real, that it’s not just learning for the sake of learning,” Greenhow said. “It feels authentic to them.”
“One of the ways we judge whether something is a new literary form or a new form of communication is whether it makes new social acts possible that weren’t possible before,” Greenhow said. “Has Twitter changed social practices and the way we communicate? I would say it has.”
Professor Greenhow also noted that Twitter usage among U.S. teens has doubled in less than two years. She states that there are now more than 200 million active users … posting more than 175 million tweets a day.
Read that again. 175 million tweets a day.
And you thought your Twitter stream was crowded?!
Greenhow’s research comes on the heels of another MSU study about changing communication practices among college students. That study, led by Jeff Grabill, found that first-year college students value texting more than any other writing style. Read about the MSU study here
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