Twitter and Social Networks in Education

Twitter is a good way to start out in your exploration of social networking. Twitter is simple to use, easy to sign up for, and your network of people on Twitter can quickly grow. The skills and techniques you use to manage a simple Twitter account can be applied to other relatively more complex networks like Facebook.

Why am I Tweeting?

There were a couple of films that I found to be catalysts in my interest in Twitter.
The first is Mike Wesch's "A Vision of Students Today" and the other is the video Common Craft made for Twitter. The first film described how students are using technology and the second is basically a description of a piece of technology that utterly fails to capture why people really use it.


The first video was galvanizing and I was fascinated by the different responses I saw: some were really excited and most teachers I had met were really down - they said things like, "See? Those poor lost kids. That is what I have been talking about!" I was elated - I see this as an untapped potential and an opportunity to harness all of this media the students are sharing into a new way of teaching. This film was really inspirational in the development of a class, Health Information Management 10, where we had the students extend the network of the classroom with tools like Twitter and instant messaging.

How to Use Twitter

Here are some links to some useful guides for getting started:

Creating a Network

Find someone you know on Twitter, and click on their "followers" link and follow those followers. For example:

Other Classes