Social Media Conferences and Uses in the Classroom

10 Jun 2021 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Submitted by Kelly Cuccolo

Last April I attended the virtual Midwest Conference on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning [SoTL] hosted by Indiana University South Bend. This conference had an additional ‘Twitter Conference.’ Each presenter was allotted five-minutes, during which they put together a thread of 6-12 tweets relevant to their paper. Presenters then had five minutes to interact with the Twitterverse. Dr. Alison Kelly and I presented our paper, Improving Student Time Management Using Instructor Implemented Intervention, in this format. We created infographics using Piktochart (a free source) to accompany our Tweets.

This experience was beneficial, as it has practical applications for the classroom. Being limited to 280 characters and one picture per Tweet enforced concise planning of the presentation; it made me think about the most important background information, study design elements, results, and implications. This was a great exercise in specificity, concision, and communicating information clearly to a broad audience. I also got to network! I could easily follow anyone who liked or replied to my Tweets which ended up being a great way to find other people passionate about SoTL. Infographic assignments may be beneficial for students to help them develop scientific communication and critical thinking skills. Instructors could even consider hosting classroom Twitter conferences where students present and explain class concepts to their peers. The limited space prompts students to use critical thinking skills to select the most important pieces of information and concisely convey them. Some examples of ways in which instructors could utilize infographics and Twitter include having students debunk myths, create public-health style announcements, explain or critique research papers, or explain theoretical concepts.

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