In my presentation to the faculty retreat on Friday on Faculty Presence in Online Environments*, I mentioned twitter as a potential form of a Ubiquitous Presence. But I really sold it short, mentioning the mundane, social-networking examples of keeping friends up-to-date on one’s daily routines.
The better and shorter answer is: twitter allows one to “broadcast” short text messages to other users via cellphone, some IM clients and to embed the messages into a virtual classroom. Project deadline reminders, “finished grading” reminders, seminar and office hour reminders — all on the fly — are potential uses of twitter for professors!
Innovations Lab Fellow and Professor in the School of Information Systems and Technology sent me an email today describing how he opened up the idea of using twitter with his class and he asked from input from his students about potential uses of the technology. Here is an excerpt from the email thread:
Sent: Sun 8/5/2007 4:06 PM
To: Terry Miller
Subject: Re: Sending you a Twitter invitation
I hope that your weekend is going well!
Twitter could also be used to alert students of deadlines in their Kaplan courses.
From: Terry Miller
Sent: Sunday, August 05, 2007 5:11:13 PM
Hi Will, Nancy is one of my sharpest students in IT 117. She suggested using Twitter to send out project deadline notices.
That’s a great idea.
What do you think?
From: Will DeBock
Sent: Sun 8/5/2007 5:47 PM
To: Terry Miller; Nancy
Subject: RE: Great idea of using Twitter
Hi Terry and Nancy!
I wish I had talked to Nancy before I gave my presentation on Faculty Presence at the retreat/graduation this past week. What a great, simple and useful idea!
I think I will mention the idea on blog post that I am creating for the Innovations Labs blog tonight!
Plus, I am going to fire up Twitter and use it exactly the way Nancy suggests! Kudos Nancy; nice thinking.
Great job including students Terry!
I am going to try twitter in my class this week. And I am sure Terry will update the IL Blog when his trail gets further along.
* I didn’t record my presentation at the retreat, unfortunately, although I don’t think it would have been as impactful as I would have wanted anyway. I do have it on my todo list to recreate parts of the presentation in a web-friendly format. more on that later.