Using Twitter in teaching With Tablets

The use of twitter so far.

Screen-Shot-2015-12-13-at-16.10.15-21mnlzdWe’ve been using Twitter to publicise the ‘Teaching With Tablets’ course, using an image and #TWT16 and tweeting from our own Twitter accounts.

Yesterday I opened a new twitter account specifically to use for this course called @TwTablets. I realised that this would allow us to tweet from it, use it to host the twitter chats and use it as a source of research data.

In the lead up to our first Twitter chat (which took place yesterday evening) I found this useful blog post by Mark Anderson (@ICTEvangelist on twitter): How to host a Twitter chat I found that taking some time to organise the chat before it happens helps  enormously. For this first chat I used Mark’s model to map out the tweets and the times they would happen:

tweet date / time tweet
15th to 18th Feb tweet daily using image and #TWT16chat #TWT16 (tweetdeck)
18th Feb
19.00 1 hour til #TWT16chat – hope to see you there!
19.30 half an hour til #TWT16chat – introductions and exploring apps.
19.45 Will you be joining us for #TWT16chat? 8pm this evening (in 15 minutes)
19.55 5 minutes til #TWT16chat! looking forward to meeting you all!
20.00 Q1 Say hello and introduce yourself on twitter #TWT16chat #TWT16
20.01 Q1 Say hello and introduce yourself on twitter #TWT16chat #TWT16
20.04 Don’t forget to use #TWT16chat #TWT16
20.10 Q2 Where are you from? #TWT16chat #TWT16
20.11 Q2 Where are you from? #TWT16chat #TWT16
20.20 Q3 What’s the best lesson you’ve used tablets for so far? #TWT16chat #TWT16
20.21 Q3 What’s the best lesson you’ve used tablets for so far? #TWT16chat #TWT16
20.30 Q4 What’s the best ‘unknown’ app you’ve discovered? #TWT16chat #TWT16
20.31 Q4 What’s the best ‘unknown’ app you’ve discovered? #TWT16chat #TWT16
20.35 Don’t forget to use the #TWT16chat #TWT16
20.40 Q5 What’s your biggest worry about using tablets for teaching? #TWT16chat #TWT16
20.41 Q5 What’s your biggest worry about using tablets for teaching?  #TWT16chat #TWT16
20.50 Q6 What is your top app so far? #TWT16chat
20.51 Q6 What is your top app so far? #TWT16chat
21.00 Thanks for joining #TWT16chat Look out for the storify appearing soon! #TWT16
21.01 Join us again next week (25th Feb) to chat about week 1 #TWT16chat #TWT16

use image


I used Explain Everything to make an image to use in the days leading up to the chat and to use in the Google+ community.

Mark also recommended Tweetdeck and I used this to schedule all the tweets listed above so that they would happen automatically. I found this to be invaluable when the tweet chat was taking place as it meant I could read, retweet and interact with the tweeters rather than tweet questions and be an administrator. I’ll also be able share the Tweetdeck with the team so that they can use it to tweet from the account when it is their turn to host the chat.

The hour itself was full of interaction and ideas! It was great to see tweeters from so many places. A quick scan through the twitter feed showed tweeters from: Newcastle upon Tyne, Sheffield, Buckingham, Milton Keynes, Rushden, Wimbledon, Northampton, North Wales, Aberystwyth, Glasgow,  and further afield: Belgium, South Africa, Slovakia, Poland, Spain, Dublin, Slovenia, Italy and Florida.

IMG_0275It was good to see so many people new to Twitter and using it for the first time, or users who were new to Twitter chats. There was a huge exchange of ideas and advice with lots of recommendations of apps that I had used, heard of or were completely new to me. Looking back through now I can see lots of tweets that I didn’t see yesterday.

This (image to the right) is a representation of the key words made using TweetRoot.

Belinda has made us a storify so we can look back at the chat- it can be seen at this link:

storify 18/02/16

The experience gave some of the participants from the course and the Google+ community the opportunity to interact with each other in a live situation and conveyed a sense of their enthusiasm for using tablets in their teaching. It was interesting to see that some app accounts also joined in the chat as their apps were discussed.

Next week’s chat will be focused on Week 1 – manipulating media.

Apps and tools used:

Twitter, Tweet Deck, TweetRoot, GoogleDocs, Explain Everything, Storify

Weekly preparation:

Before the chat: finalise six questions; make image for the week; structure them into tweets using the pro forma; set them up on Tweetdeck; tweet daily using the week’s image; announce on Open Blackboard; event on Google+ community.

After the chat: storify the tweets and tweet link to it, add storify link to Google+community and Open Blackboard.


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