Using Twitter as a Pedagogical Tool
The twitter activity, called a tweet jam was developed to teach students using social media on how to distil arguments and engagements with critical writing. While this exercise was developed for the ethnic studies course, "Race, Robots, and the Inhuman," it can be used in any pedagogical and workshop setting. *This post is a part of "The Pedagogy Project" by HASTAC Scholars.
Equipment and Materials:
Make sure you have a class Twitter account set up. Set up the computer in the center of the classroom space and with projection, so students can tweet live.
- Being with a roundtable discussion of the article. In this instance we discussed an article entitled "Race and/as Technology" by Wendy Chun. Prepare a few discussion questions and leave time and space for general points.
- After 30 minutes (or sufficent time) of open discussion, pair the class into groups of three.
- Make sure to introduce Twitter to those who are not familiar with the social media. Make sure to go over the limitations of the tweet such as 144 characters and hastags.
- After each group is formed, assign a section of the article. (This should be prepared before class)
- Each group would be responsible to create three tweets on each section.
1) Main point (summarize)
2) Connection to larger article "race and/as tech"
3) Question or provocation
- Provide at least 20 minutes so students can create their tweets.
- Ask the groups to share their tweets, their rationale, and any other observations on the article and process.
- After each group shares, the class votes on their favorite tweets.
- Each tweet is published live in the classroom
The activity generates a large amount of interactivity in the act of creating tweets. It was exciting to see the tweets get posted live, in real time, which added to the theme of the class. I wished we had more time to share on the tweets, we ended up with only 20 minutes and it would have been great to have more time for discussion afterwards.