Thursday, August 13, 2009

Twitter in the Library and the Classroom

I joined Twitter a few months ago. I have around 200 "tweets." Yes, I know. Active Twitter users are calling me pathetic as they read this. However, I remember someone tweeting about teaching law faculty about Twitter. I thought that was interesting, but moved on with my day. On Monday, we had a faculty retreat and a professor came and talked to us and he told us that twitter is his preferred means of communication and he encourages students to use it and other web 2.0 technologies while in his class.

Okay, now I am thinking - how can you use Twitter in the classroom or in the library? Is it really a good idea? So, I did what any self-respecting librarian does. I googled "Twitter in the cl-" before I could finish Twitter in the classroom came up as an option.

We know that libraries are using Twitter to announce new books and programs, but here are some other ways to use Twitter.

Reference Questions - Limiting someone to 140 characters could be good or bad
Discussion Forums - Patrons can have a public discussion on a topic
Twitter Polls - Find and graph opinions
Twiddeo - Share video with patrons

Potential Downsides
Text Message Fees
Time Spent Staffing/Managing the Twitter Account

So, while I support Libraries being on Twitter, I am still uncertain about the benefit to using it in the classroom. Please leave your comments about your experiences with Twitter in libraries or in the classroom.

Links to Articles Consulted
Twitter in the Classroom

Libraries on Twitter

50 ways to use Twitter in the College Classroom

A Professor's Tips for using Twitter in the Classroom

Are Universities Wasting Their Time Communicating to Students via Twitter

How one Teacher uses Twitter in the Classroom

25 Interesting Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom

Twitter for Academia

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