Crowdsourcing the Classroom – Education 2.0
Here at Reset San Francisco we know that Twitter, one of the fastest growing streams of social media,has evolved from just 140 characters about what you ate for breakfast to a powerful communication and marketing tool. So it seems a logical next step for Twitter to enter the realm of education and lead the way for Education 2.0. Some teachers are utilizing Twitter's real-time public conversation to help their students learn with this classroom technology.
Teaching with Twitter - Education 2.0
The news is filled with stories about education budget cuts and teacher layoffs. These only burden our overcrowded classrooms even more and challenge teachers’ ability to connect with students. As we look at how to improve our education system amidst budget cuts and overflowing classrooms, Twitter is a free Education 2.0 tool that teachers can use to connect with students.
Twittering teachers are making Education 2.0 a reality, by using Twitter to increase student participation and discussion by using this technology in the classroom. Additionally, by allowing students to tweet answers to questions, otherwise shy students can find their voice and engage in dialogue without having to raise their hand. Twitter provides students with a less intimidating way to express themselves and ask questions during class. Twitter can also help students have conversations outside of the classroom with classmates and teachers.
A recent study, published in Computer Assisted Learning or supports the benefits of Twitter in teaching. The study followed 125 undergraduate students. Half of the students used Twitter for a semester and half did not. The study showed that the participants who used Twitter had an average GPA half a point higher than their non-tweeting classmates. Master-Degree-Online.com created a great infographic of the study. The study shows that those in the Twitter group also participated more often in class, and they sought out their classmates and professors with questions outside of the classroom.
Once again – this study points out the absolute need to close the digital divide and guarantee that every San Franciscan have equal access to the Internet. We simply can’t tolerate a new segregation – between the Digital Haves and the Analog Have Nots. That’s why Reset is pushing so strongly for Guaranteed Access to the Internet for all San Franciscans.
Crowdsourcing the Classroom
Twitter is also allowing teachers to crowdsource by using internet in the clasroom. Twitter serves as a forum for teachers to collaborate, share solutions, and crowdsource their questions to an entire community of educators. Where once these conversations were isolated to an individual school’s faculty lounge, they now encompass an international community of educators.
Educators can also use Twitter to keep up on education policy. By searching Twitter for the DOE, educators can follow the happenings of the DOE and educational policy. Likewise, the San Francisco Unified School District is part of Government and Education 2.0 through their SFUSD Twitter feed, which allows followers to stay up to date on San Francisco Board of Education meetings, school schedules, and events.
Twitter not only helps educators stay up-to-date on federal and local education bodies, but it promotes more conversation between the two. Teaching students and teachers to learn from and with each other benefits all those involved.
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