Social media in L&T: Introduction to Twitter

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a micro-blogging and online social networking tool.

At the heart of Twitter are small bursts of information called Tweets. Each Tweet is 140 characters long, but don’t let the small size fool you—you can discover a lot in a little space.

How do I register?

Simply go to this address; https://twitter.com/signup
and complete the sign up form;

twitter sign up

You will be asked to create a username, this will be how other users find you and should be appropriate for the accounts use.

You can choose to set up an account using your marjon email address, however, be aware that this will then always be associated with the university and should be used in a professional way.

How do I tweet?

  1. Log in to your Twitter account
  2. Click the blue compose new Tweet button at the top of your screen;
  3. Add your first post;
  4. Click the Tweet button to post the Tweet to your profile;

You will immediately see your Tweet in the timeline on your homepage;

You can make your tweets more visible by using a Hashtag (#) relevant to the post. Hashtags are searchable terms which flag up keywords or topics.

Who can read my Tweets?

Your Tweets are public by default; if you’re hesitant to have strangers read your updates, protect your Tweets to approve followers meaning your tweets don’t show up in searches. People can find your tweets that contain hashtags by searching for a term.

Followers are people who receive your Tweets. If someone follows you, they will:

  • Become your follower and will show up in your Followers list.
  • See and reply to your Tweets in their Tweets timeline, on their phone, or any third party application that they use.
  • If you follow someone, you are their follower and therefore can see and reply to their tweets.

Retweets and Likes

These are the 2 main ways other users will interact with your tweets.

  • Retweeting, this will mean that the tweet is shown on your twitter feed and therefor displayed to your followers or visa versa.
  • Liking a tweet, this shows that you are interested in the tweet. Liking a tweet will show to your followers that you approve of a tweet and this in turn will prompt people to follow that user.

Mentions and Replies

You can also engage with other twitter users by tweeting them directly and reply to a tweet.

  • Mentioning someone in your tweet will cause them to be notified and for your tweet to appear on their twitter feed. To mention another user you simply need to include their username, e.g @marjonuni, in your tweet.
  • Replying to a tweet starts a conversation with this user and will show your reply alongside their tweet on their followers feeds. This is a good way to interact with other users and make your presence known by their followers.

How can Twitter be used in L&T?

Here are just a few of many ways you could use Twitter in Learning and Teaching;

  1. Help build a sense of community; Share useful information and links; and to generally improve communication between learners and teaching staff
  2. Twitter as a bulletin board; Use Twitter as a bulletin board for your modules, let students know about last minute news like cancelled lectures
  3. Keep students in the loop; Use hashtags (#) on Twitter, students who were not able to make it to a class can follow along and stay on top of the conversation
  4. Attendance reminders; For students who have trouble making it to lectures on time, send reminders on the day to get them in the door earlier
  5. Digital faculty lounge; Try using Twitter as a ‘digital faculty lounge’ to network with other lecturers
  6. Stay on top of the learning process; Ask students to tweet and reply about what they’re learning, difficulties they’ve faced, tips, resources, and more as an online logbook
  7. Find great resources; Ask for recommended books, teaching tools, and ideas for lessons, crowdsourcing resources for the classroom
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Helen Baker

Head of Digital Innovation

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