Learning Twitter in School?

Posted by on Thursday, September 16th, 2010 in platyBlog | No Comments »

I received an email from a friend the other day asking for help, and was shocked when I opened up the attached word document. The retail class she took is requiring students to actively participate in Twitter.

They’re required to start both a Twitter and Hootsuite account, follow relevant retail lists, actively tweet, and use a particular #hashtag so the instructor can keep track (they must also follow the instructor, of course).

Does this seem crazy to anyone?

What if you don’t want to update your Twitter status in order to get an ‘A’ in the class? What if you don’t find Twitter particularly helpful, or enjoy actively participating in it?

Too bad for the student, I guess.

While part of me thinks forcing students to join a social network and actively participate is unfair, the other part of me thinks it’s a smart move. I’ve personally learned so much by following lists and doing Twitter searches for particular topics I’m interested in. Why wouldn’t it work the same way for students? They could get to know their classmates, brainstorm, collaborate and share interesting and helpful websites with one another. Additionally, businesses are going to continue to use Twitter, so when college students search for jobs, experience with Twitter will benefit them.

The only downfall I see? Knowing how often Twitter and other social networks change, teachers may need to revise their curriculum half way through the semester! Tweet me with your thoughts @ckostrivas

In a complete opposite direction, this school is banning social media for a week to see how students cope!

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