5 Aug 2009

Twitter - A Learning Tool?

A recent study from MMB-Institut für Medien- und Kompetenzforschung came up with the result Twitter has a very low relevance as learning technology in German enterprises for the next three years.

Yesterday I stumbled upon a post titled Three Practical Ideas for Using Twitter in E-Learning. Four ideas (maybe more if you look also at the comments of this post) how to leverage Twitter in a learning endeavor from this post are:
  1. Follow the Subject Matter Expert
  2. Follow the Subject
  3. Build a Community
  4. Use it to send out FAQs
But is this eLearning? The dominate intended usage of the Internet according to Ruder Finn's Intend Index is - to learn! And learning is associated with "Educate Self", "Research" and "Keep Informed".

Lauren Milstid wrote an enthusiastic comment to the above mentioned post:

Twitter is a perfect learning tool. It’s a quick and easy way to get introduced to new ideas and resources by credible people.

Maybe German eLearning experts really don’t know much about it or don’t do much with it. I hope we can leave Dr. Werner Oppelbaumer's knowledge level regarding Twitter in the near future :-)

The Rapid E-Learning Blog - Dr. Werner Oppelbaumer explains Twitter

Click here to watch Dr. Werner’s presentation.


Kai Heddergott said...

I agree with your estimation of german experts' knowledge of the real impact of tools such as Twitter when it comes to eLearning. Mostly, I think it depends on the understanding of the term "learning" - one has the idea that in Germany learning means automatically institutional learning. All methods and all tools which have a certain "life of their own" outside this system of institutional learning do have to overbear some very high barriers of acceptance.

I wonder, when we will have such inspiring events as discribed in this very good article published in TIME magazine (http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1902604,00.html) – I think, here in Germany, it will take several months or a year. Let's wait and see - and hope.

Kai Heddergott said...

It can be so simple: Learning about history means to be close on original texts. And that's why the Massachusetts History Society launched a Twitter account, tweeting diary entries of the former US President John Quincy Adams - which died in 1848! See on http://bit.ly/18guG9 or at @JQAdams_MHS

Kai Heddergott said...

And - not to forget this smart website, which re-ancts the first lunar landing 40 years on (to the second!): http://wechoosethemoon.org
One could hear the original audio between NASA's Capcom and the Apollo Capsule - and the famous sentence "One small step...". The audio transcripts had been posted as single tweeds on Twitter, also to the second. The impact of this concept was truly deep, as one can read in the NYTimes: http://bit.ly/vGzRQ
So, another good example using Twitter for learning purposes (here: learning about history)

Bruce Spear said...

I think you might enjoy reading the Pistachio website, Laura Fitton's extensive resource (and consulting business) for twitter in business: http://pistachioconsulting.com/.

More generally, the business plan (8 minute podcast, especially) on IBM's Blogging Means Business, http://www-03.ibm.com/innovation/us/podcasts/videocast/blogging_qth.shtml.

I myself have used twitter I think effectively in the business English classroom here in Berlin and have written about it here:

Briefly, through twitter, over half of my German/French graduate business students learned how to help each other, offering all manner of substantive and moral support, as well as adopt English as their "lingua franca". This twitter use strongly complemented their use of blogging to explore, report on, and discuss current discussion of issues in their professional fields.

Based on this example, and working closely with me, my colleague Marcus Birkenkrahe then had 150 students in two business information systems courses use blogging and twitter, many of them quite effectively, as you may see here: http://www.birkenkrahe.com/teaching/bisblog/about/.

I hope you may find this helpful.

selinks659 said...

Hi, i am also agree with your estimations, and learning is the never ending process and technology made it simple but demanding and creative too.

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