Twitter Shingo Ichikawa General Descriptions • What is twitter? – Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. • What can we do? – Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as followers. – Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications. What separates it from other similar technologies? – Simple, quick and frequent (vs. blogs) – Less pressure (vs. chat) – Personal (vs. internet forum) Why should we be using this technology? / What specific pedagogical aims could this technology target? – Input: • no permission required to follow someone; short texts; authentic; update – Output: • increasing learners’ output; large audience; repeating the same expressions – Interaction: • enhancing interactions between users Why should we be using this technology? • Teachers can use micro-blogging to get in touch with students. – Notice board: teacher can send memos on tasks, exams or events. – Resources: Recommend resources and share links, web pages, videos, etc. – Answers: Teachers can solve students’ doubts or answers very quickly – Feedback: Collect students’ opinions about the class – Motivate: Keep interest high helping students to give a sense and utility to what they have learnt. Other Micro-blogging Services – Some services use a similar concept as Twitter but combine the micro-blogging facilities with other services, such as file sharing. Other services provide similar functionality, but within closed networks for corporations, nonprofits, universities, and other organizations. – Plurk (http://www.plurk.com/) • Updates are shown on a timeline where they are chronologically ordered in a very visual way – Jaiku (http://www.jaiku.com/) • Its lifestream that enables users to put together all information about what we are doing on-line with other services (e.g., Flickr) – Edmodo (http://www.edmodo.com) • It provides a way for teachers and students to share notes, links, and files Why did you choose this particular version as opposed to other available versions of the technology? • Twitter – Simple – Large number of users (http://s.hamachiya.com/twitter/population) – Many useful applications (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/02/19/thetop-20-twitter-applications/) Terminology 1 • Tweet – Each of your Twitter posts or updates is known as a tweet. Some people refer to them as “twits”, but the official term is “tweet.” Each tweet is no longer than 140 characters. • Following – While Facebook requires that all relationships be reciprocal, Twitter allows for one-way relationships. If you find Twitter users who are interesting, you can "follow them" to subscribe to their tweets. They do not necessarily have to follow you back, though the more social users will want to follow you back • Timeline – The “timeline” page is the homepage which displays tweets from all the people you are following. On the sidebar (column on the right of each Twitter page) – Public timeline • Direct Messages – Links to your Inbox/Sent messages (140 characters or less) that are privately sent to and from you Terminology 2 • @replies – Use an at sign (@) in front of a Twitter username to reply to someone, to refer to them, or direct a new message to somebody. e.g., @shingo • Retweeting (RT) – Retweeting is the act of sharing someone else’s tweet with your followers – spreading the word wider. To identify a retweet, the Twitter convention is to put RT at the start of the retweet and to include the Twitter username of the person you are retweeting like attributing a quote. – e.g., RT @SCBWI Our summer conference is August 7-10. • Hashtags (#) – Use the sharp or number sign (#) as part of a “hashtag” to organize and categorize your information. – e.g., new chapbook “skittling and fiddling” is available online today! #poetry How to Start Twitter? 1. Go to: http://twitter.com/ 2. Create account 3. Settings (personal information, background etc) 4. Search 5. Follow 6. @reply Sample Classroom Activities • Reference: Castro, M. (2009) • Headline: – The students are given a newspaper article and they have to write a headline for it. • Collaborative writing: – All the students have to create a short story or fable, starting from the first post sent by the teacher. • Secret person: – The students have to guess the secret person sending questions to the teacher, to which he can answer only yes or no. • Meeting point: – A space where all students can discuss an issue decided by the teacher. Sample Classroom Activities • Film scripts (Perifanou, 2009) – Step1: Each group choose one scene from famous Italian films prepared by a teacher – Step 2: Each group write dialogue of the scene – Step 3: Teacher gave feedback on the dialogues – Step 4: Each group perform the scene in class – Step 5: Voting for the best script creation References • Castro, M. (2009). The use of microblogging in language education. Proceedings of the third international wireless ready symposium. 8-11. http://opinion.nucba.ac.jp/~thomas/castro2009.p df • Perifanou, M, A. (2009). Language microgaming: fun and informal microbloggin activities for language learning. Communications in Computer and Information Science. 49. 1-14.