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Twitter improves student learning?

Researchers at Michigan State University are exploring the use of Twitter in the classroom.  

The study suggests Twitter will change the way people communicate in the classroom.

Christine Greenhow, Assistant Professor of Education at MSU, conducted the research and says students are much more engaged when they are actively tweeting with the teacher and classmates and others outside of class.  “Some of the time this engagement took the form of them tweeting out to the authors they were reading and sharing some insights on what they read.  So really deeply engaging with the things they were reading.”

“Surprisingly”, she said, “many times the writers or authors tweet back – so it’s a very different experience than just reading something by yourself or in a class.”

Greenhow says Twitter’s 140 character bursts of real-time information teach students to write concisely and to collaborate with one another, “Twitter, tweeting is really changing the way young people experience what they read and it’s changing the way they write and the way they get information.”

Greenhow says there are now more than 200 million active users posting 175 million tweets a day.  Her study appears in the journal Educational Forum and is called “Twitteracy: Tweeting as a New Literary Practice.”

-  Chris Zollars

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