#Twitterteach tip 5. Use Twitter to enhance your PLN.

What is a PLN?

A PLN is a personal learning network. It’s sometimes called a Personal Learning Environment. It’s also core to the idea of networked learning, and a big part of the driving pedagogy behind using social media in education.

A PLN is the sum total of all your on and offline interactions, resources, and engagements that contribute to your learning. It’s often an informal thing, or a mix of the formal or informal. It’s the books you read. The teachers in your staffroom or lounge. The Guardian Education Supplement. Blogs you post to, or read, magazines, periodicals or journals you do. Courses you take, students on those courses, and all the links, articles, posts, videos and tweets you watch and reas.

Your PLN is all the things and all the people you connnect with that help you learn about the thing you are doing.

Here’s a pic of a typical PLN, from Alec Couros. It’s not comprehensive, as the digital world evolves rapidly, but it’s a good overall picture of what one might look like.

The Networked Teacher, Image Courtesy of Alec Couros

The Networked Teacher, Image Courtesy of Alec Couros

Alec Couros is a great person to follow, btw. Click on his name to connect to his Twitter Profile, if you like.

Twitter and your PLN

Twitter is a very useful tool for extending your pln.  It’s hugely popular, it’s hashtag system let’s you find people and information that you are interested in rapidly. The educators on Twitter are typically eager to share, communicate and answer questions. And it’s instantaneous. It’s a powerful tool to help you extend your PLN and gather more and more resources to change, alter and develop your practice.

Follow the right people, and your timeline can become a carefully curated stream of thought provoking ideas, useful resources, and a one stop theory shop for almost everything you need to know. You can connect with experts, with people in the same field and context as you, with thoughtful thinkers and practitioners sharing their experiences, ideas, techniques and resources. And you can become a contributor too, building up your own following, and curating and sharing your own resources, ideas, experiences and ideas.

Why you should

  • Twitter will give you access to experts in the field who share ideas, resources, articles and insights.
  • Your own peer network will have resources, experiences, thoughts and artefacts to share. If your PLN are active, that translates into a consistent stream of useful information.
  • Twitter is often used as an ask an expert forum. If enough people follow you, and retweet your question, chances are an expert might answer. It can be a great way to get free and expert advice.
  • A characteristic of Twitter are weak connections. The idea here is that when you connect with people who work in fields that are tangentially related to yours, that you might not normally meet, you get insights, resources, and approaches to things that you wouldn’t ordinarily encounter. Twitter can really help you to engage with materials you might not otherwise have seen, and come up with creative solutions.
  • Your students can, and will benefit from your pln. The more people you have following you, who are also aware of the teaching possibilities of twitter, the more likely you are to be able to get them to help you in and with your class. There’s a range of ideas for how to leverage your PLN in class here, but some ideas involve getting people to post questions for your students, or having experts you met on twitter skype into your class, or having PLN members who are teachers skype in to your class. You can have people from cities your class are talking about tweet, or people who witnessed, or are witnessing events meet up with your students online to answer questions.
  • Finally, in connecting with educators who use twitter, you are connecting to a community who, generally, tacitly agree that they are there to learn from each other. This tends to mean that the learning opportunities are fertile, many, and often high quality.

How to do it

If you are new to twitter

  • Choose a username that makes it easy to find you, and connect with you. People often choose to use their own names on twitter, or to attach their real name in their profile to the twitter handle they chose.
  • Make sure your profile has a picture, and some information about you. People are much more likely to follow you if your profile feels authentic, and some people will assume your twitter account is fake unless you post some identifying information to your profile, and a picture. If you are not comfortable putting your own picture up, put up a cartoon picture, or a landscape picture, or a picture of a thing that represents you.
  • Post some tweets before you begin to follow people. Again, this is to encourage people to think you are real, and not a spammer. People are unwilling to follow an account with zero tweets.
  • Find people to follow. If you already know teachers on twitter, see who they follow, check their profiles, and consider following those people. If there are educators, theorists, or writers on education or technology you like, find and follow them. You can unfollow people at any time, but don’t follow everyone you encounter either. Checking through the lists that people you find interesting follow can be useful. Post interesting resources and ideas, and people will start to follow you. Lots of blogs and articles have links to follow the writer.
  • Don’t follow too many people at first, and don’t be afraid to unfollow people who are not helpful or valuable to you. They won’t know.

If you are already on twitter and new to PLNs.

  • Have a clear focus about why you are on witter. It can be a great tool for building your PLN, but you do need focus. Is it social, or professional or a mix. Are you looking for resources and ideas, or for connections that might help you climb the professional ladder.
  • As a general rule, follow people, hashtags and topics that interest you, and are tied in to the area you are developing your network in, and contribute to them (there’s a huge list of educational hashtags here). Ask questions, post resources, and contribute to the conversation. The more you contribute, and the more visible, the more you’ll build your network.
  • Participate in tweetchats on education, or the specific topic you are interested in. Post your thoughts, ask people questions, get involved in conversations. There’s a list of educational tweetchat hashtags and times here. #edchatie is a good place to start for Irish educators.
  • Follow people you disagree with.
  • Tweet resources, your own blog posts, articles, and anything you know is good quality and interesting. Retweet other peoples material whenever it interests you.
  • Retweeet people, respond to them with questions, and to their questions queries and resources, and you’ll build a following.
Advertisements

#Twitterteach Tip 4 – Create a class backchannel

Create a class backchannel.

What you’ll need to know to do this

How to use hashtags in twitter
How to setup your own hashtag
What is useful to know
How to use an app like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite
How to use apps like Tagboard

What is a backchannel?

A class backchannel (or a lecture, or seminar backchannel) is a a channel of communication that lets students and teachers engage and communicate during a session. It’s also not the main communication mode. In traditional contexts, it might have been a note passed down to the lecturer, or to the teaching assistant, while the lecturer is talking. In this context, it’s twitter, and tweets that are sent during the class by students. Lecturers respond by tweeting, or by picking out tweets and responding verbally, or both.

Why use twitter as a backchannel?
A room with 200 students presents participation challenges. The architecture of the typical lecture hall, or seminar room can make it difficult to know, or feel, that people are being equally engaged. Q and A sessions may involve the same few people each time, and the simple geography of where people sit, and howe rooms are built or arranges can make participation and discussion difficult.

Add in the fact that some people can find crowds intimidating, and the potential vulnerability involved in asking questions about topics you are unsure of, and the standard lecture and classroom setup can have some disadvantages.
Using Twitter as a class backchannel can help solve some of these problems. It’s much easier to tweet a question from the back row than it is to raise you hand, hope you are seen, and then shout down the rows hoping your question makes sense. Much easier to type your question in to twitter, review and edit it before you send, knowing that your lecturer will see it, than be nervous about speaking up.
Using Twitter as a backchannel might also help you

  • Encourage shy or reticent students to engage with you, their peers and the topic at hand
  • Gives you a written record of how students are responding and engaging on a live, minute by minute basis
  • Lets you analyse student thoughts, coneptualisations, and difficulties during the lecture or class
  • Helps you spot troublesome concepts., or areas students are having problems with, live. If ten people ask a similar question, then it’s a good bet more want to know the answer
  • Gives you a mechanism for upping your overall class engagement
  • Gibes you opportunities to highlight contributions from your participants.
  • Can create a context where students are actively contributing and sharing resources over twitter by linking to blogs, posts, article, videos etc as the class evolves.
  • Makes it easy for you to share resources in class on the fly.

Here’s how.

Decide on a class hashtag. You’ll need a different one for each class, you’ll need to check if it’s already in use for another purpose. For example, I use #ditportfolio for tweeting my Masters class notes, and to check it, I used the search function in Tweetdeck (click on the magnifier, and type in your hashtag. I used #ditportfolio, and got zero hits, so I can use it…)

Checking hashtag availability in Tweetdeck

Checking hashtag availability in Tweetdeck

You might consider having a different account for each class. Apps like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite will allow you to switch, easily and quickly, between accounts. If you are expecting a lot of tweets, the multiple account option can be useful.

Disseminate the hashtag amongst your students, and tell them how you will use it, and why. If you are going to use it as a backchannel, your students will need to know that, and what that means. You’ll be using it to solicit questions, ideas, for in class polls, for posting you resources and theirs. Whatever mix you choose. You may need to make allowances here for students who don’t have devices they use during class. You could offer to storify all class tweets and post the link after class.

It might also help to use your class hashtag to mention additional resources out of class hours, to post questions, or answers to questions, and to post reminders about things, so students get to value the twitter aspect of your lessons, and engage with the hashtag.

Tools and techniques that will add value to the tweet stream

Keeping up with the channel as it happens

Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, already mentioned, will make managing the stream in class easier. If you have a TA they can also do this for you. Here’s a quick look at tweetdeck, and it;s column display that lets you customise what you see, and how you see it. Tweetdeck makes it much easier to follow a conversation as it unfolds in class, especially useful if you just need to dip in quickly to see what questions people are asking.

Tweetdeck Columns

Tweetdeck lets you split your screen into separate columns, so you can dedicate each colmun to a different hashtag, making it easy to keep track of what people are saying on the class hashtag. In the picture, there’s two hashtag columns.

Getting an overview

Another advantage to a backchannel is that you can see your students thought processes as they tweet them, making it easier to predict difficulties they are going to have, and address them.

Apps like tagboard make it easy to collect all the tweets from a particular hashtag and display them on one screen. Useful for demo purposes in class, and for getting an overall idea of trends in the class, or seeing how difficult points or ideas are going down. It also makes it easy to see trends in what’s being posted. Are people posting questions, the same or different ones, who is posting resources and what are they.

Tagboard for tweets on the #whyopen twitterfeed

Tagboard for tweets on the #whyopen twitterfeed

Sharing and saving the stream

Storify can allow you to collate the tweets from a  session, and share them. If someone is quotes they get an email telling them – which is a nice bump up for a student sometimes. And it allows you and your students to add comments on the tweetsream. You can also embed additional resources. Youtube videos, links, and posts from blogs and social media, photos, amongst other things.

Why we hate Khan Academy, storified student posts

Curating Twitter with storify, a howto from HybridPedagogy.com

#Twitterteach tip 3 – Geotagging, privacy, and mapping movements

What is geotagging?

Geotagging involves attaching your location data to the posts, images, or anything else you make available on social media. Geotagging typically involves using your gps co-ordinates to locate your and tie your photo, or tweet to the location it was taken in or sent from. This information can also be crossreferenced, for example, with Google Maps, or Google Earth to represent locations more intuitively. We’ll look at positive aspects of geotagging tweets later, but for now I’m going to focus on the privacy aspect.

What does it look like

Twitter have mapped every geotagged tweet sent in Europe since 2009, visualised below, and it gives a good, and impactful idea of what geotagging tweets might mean.

MiguelRios_Europe

(Image courtesy of Twitter. For images of Tokyo, Istanbul and New York, click here)

Humboldt Sate University have a map of hate, which tracks racist, homophobic, or anti disability geotagged tweets across the USA, in some ways, perhaps, a more positive use of the technology.

There are good reasons to Geotag tweets (or Instagrams, Flickr Photos…). It can be useful to have location information attached to tweets for all sorts of purposes, and, in education, it can be extremely useful to be able to use a portable device, on a fieldtrip, that geotags information for you, gives you the gps location information, and is displayable on Google maps, earth, and mapping software.

On Twitter, it’s an opt in feature, so, it’s not set unless you set it up. Twitters FAQ is here if you are interested.

Geotagging, privacy, and your digital footprint.

Berkley have an interesting project, highligting the potential prviacy pitfalls of geotagging on both Twitter and Instagram. You can type in  users handle, and, if they geotag, the site scoops up their posts, grabs the gps, and crossreferences them with Google maps, letting you know what someone tweeted or instagrammed, where they were when they sent it, and when. The site is called Ready Or Not, and it allows you to search for twitter users, and, if they geotag, map where they were, and when they were there, based on tweets they sent.

Berkeley Twitmap1

On the Ready or Not site, you can also bring up a map with street names, and cross reference it with the persons timeline – which has the timestamp and the tweet. Where, when, who, down to the minute and the street.

Ideas for lessons.

Privacy, your data, and the Internet. Increasingly educators are encountering the need to educate their students about data, privacy and the reltionship between students and their devices. The Ready or Nor site is set up to remind people of some of the privacy pitfalls of the internet. It has links, too, talking about internet privacy, and how to disable geotagging. The ability to display the location and movements of individuals live in class could be a good introduction to aspects of digital citizenship, digital footprints, and privacy on the internet.

Fiurther resources

Theres a Prezi Presntation on digital footprints, social media and data ownsership here.

Terms of Service .org have a simplified breakdown of different sites terms of service, and a vidsual ranking system that gicves a good introduction to differening levels of privacy, and data ownsership.

#Twitterteachtip 2 – Tagboard, displaying tweets as a wall of words

The idea behind Tagboard.com is simple.

It lets you display all posts under a single hashtag, from multiple social media, on a single board, as a kind of wall of tweets. So, you can show tweets from many different people, all talking about the same subject, simultaneously, or show the conversation in a tweetchat all at once.

A tagboard screenshot of  #digped (Digital Pedagogy hashtag)

A tagboard screenshot of #digped (Digital Pedagogy hashtag). Click to enlarge.

These could be from your students, and be used as a way to see the whole conversation they are having at once. They could be from tweeters generally, talking about the same topic, as a way to get a snapshot of the spectrum of opinion about a subject. It could a a snapshot of commenters talking about an unfolding event/

How to use it

It’s simple to use. The address is tagboard.com. Just type the hashtag in the searchbox, and tagboard does the rest. It searches six different sites (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, App.net, Vine and Google +) and automattically scoops up all the posts under the hashtag you input, and displays them.

What it looks like

The board displays the full tweet. and it grabs all the most recent tweets on a particular hashtag. In the pic below, I’m using #edchatie, the Irish education Twitter hashtag as an example

#Edchatie on Tagboard

(Click on the photo to go to the live tagboard for #edchatie)

You get the post, who made it, and when. And the display lets you see the entirety of a hashtag conversation on one screen, making it easy to track the conversation in it’s entirety.

So, if you set a class hashtag, or you want to display posts in class, or you want to use a twitter conversation as part of your lesson or lecture, you can set it up on tagboard qucikly and easily. You can grab posts from across Social Media that are about the topic you are covering in your lecture, and get an up to the moment snapshot of the global conversation.

For example, Syria is in the news, and, if you want to get a snapshot of what people are saying right now, here’s the Tagboard

Syria Tagboard

(Click on the photo to go to the live Tagboard for #Syria)

No membership is necessary, and the board displays rapidly, but if you do sign up  you can respond to posts just by clicking on them in tagboard. You can sign up with your twitter handle.

Lesson ideas

  • Use it as a jumping off point for class (display the posts on the days topic, and get your students to respond),
  • use it as a way to summarise and gather your students thoughts about a topic or subject (give them the hashtag, and get them to post on each others profiles, and on twitter, then put them up),
  • use tagboard as a clearinghouse for class questions – if your students are using twitter, in class, or as part of their homework, having all their posts displayed simultaneously makes it easier to identify question trends, or problem areas or ideas for them.
  • set a piece of homework to be posted to a hashtag (get your students to devise a question in math for tomorrows lesson, or snag a famous quote from a person involved in an historical event,) and put them up in class the next day on tagboard to compare, contrast and kick off a discussion.
  • Get your students to research a hashtag of their own choice on a topic, and have them present on the topic, and explain the posts they come across, using tagboard as a presentation aid.

Snapshot summary

Pros:
Fast
Easy to use
Clear uncluttered display – would work well in a lecture or online seminar environment
Lets you get a good overall snapshot of a # conversation across many sites instantly
You can reply to individual posts right from your tagboard
You don’t need an account on any of the social media sites to snag the posts.

Cons:

Doesn’t look like you can save tagboards

Links

Tagboard.com homepage
@Tagboard Twitter profile

#Twitterteach tip 1. Finding an expert.

http://novemberlearning.com/educational-resources-for-educators/teaching-and-learning-articles/how-twitter-can-be-used-as-a-powerful-educational-tool/

“For example, Brian did this the evening of President Mubarak’s speech, and he discovered that the two most popular hashtags being used at that time were #Egypt and #Jan25. By looking through the resources he found, he was able to see what the world was saying about this event. But then, Brian took it a step further. He began a new Twitter post and typed in:

I wonder if the people in #Egypt are buying this? #Jan25

Upon posting, his message immediately gained a global audience interested in this one topic. Within minutes, he had a response back from a woman in Cairo who confirmed his thinking: The Egyptians weren’t buying it at all! They chatted for a while, and at the conclusion of their conversation, he asked if she would be willing to Skype into a class of middle school students and teachers with whom he was working the next day. She agreed, and the students were able to ask her questions about what they had seen on television the evening before, about life in Egypt, and about her hopes for Egypt’s future. It was a powerful moment for everyone involved.”

#twitterteachtip 16 livetweet a book, report, or articlei

Livetweeting involves tweeting something as it happens. In this case, it involves having your students livetweet a book, report, or article as the class are reading it.

How to do it

It;s probably a good idea to set up a specific hashtag for this project if you expect a lot of tweets, or use the class hashtag if the tweeting is not going to be too intensive. If your students are all on board with twitter, and your hashtag is active, and has good information on it, then they hopefully follow it.

It;s useful to have all the tweets undera single hashtag for several reasons. It makes it easy to find and collate them – you can easily garb and display them on storify or tagboard, to sort through them, present them, or check out what stidents are thinking and saying.

It also makes it easier to spot interesting ideas, or student difficulties.

Why it might be a good idea.

Apart from the reflective opportunities it offers, and the ability to make those reflections transparent to you, the teacher, your students sharing their thoughts, ideas, clarifications, questions and resources offers them the chance to engage in a peer to peer ref;lective conversation. You get to see how the thought process develops, in a way that you might not in a discussion in a classroom. Twitters relative anonymity can work well here. Many people find it easier to ask questions, or contribute, in text formats, and the question, thought, or resource is recorded and available whenever people check in with the hashtag.

There is always the possibility that the person who wrote what your are tweeting about will chime in on the conversation, especially if you tweet about it.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p>Hello <a href=”https://twitter.com/search?q=%23h818&amp;src=hash”>#h818</a&gt; ! It seems that u are reading a paper that <a href=”https://twitter.com/roycekimmons”>@roycekimmons</a&gt; &amp; I wrote. I love the topic of ur class, &amp; I hope our paper is helpful!</p>&mdash; George Veletsianos (@veletsianos) <a href=”https://twitter.com/veletsianos/statuses/386957070714830848″>October 6, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

You are also iopening the conversation up, both to your PLN, and your students followers, and to twitter generally. And one of the core potencies of twitter is the ability for anyone to see, and engage with a public conversation. So, experts on the field, people with experience, or who have read the paper you are discussing in class, and people will other resources might chime in with their thoughts.

This can take a little bit of publicising on your part. Tweeting the hashtag, asking your PLN to help and retweet, tweeting the authors directly, and tweeting about the project with other hahstags that are subject sepfici will alll help publicise the conversation you and your students are having.

#twitterteach tip 13 Structured use of technology

Be transparent about how technology should be used, and why it should be used.

It looks like, if you want your student’s laptop use in class to be productive, you need to model it and structure it. They’ll need to know how, and why to use their laptops in lectures.

The idea here is based on a paper from Sciencedirect.com on the effect laptops have on classroom learning outcomes and perceived clarity of instruction. And the key idea, in terms of twitter, is unstructured laptop use  is distracting, and negatively effects learning. Students check email, chat, play games, and surf the net, report they understand lectures less, and score lower on grades. And they distract other students too. It’s important to note that this is unstructured laptop use ( where students are totally free to do what they want with them, and are given no direction) and that it’s in a lecture context, and not in the context of project work, or research.

Structured laptop use may be engaging and have a positive effect. The takeway lesson here, might be, if we want students to benefit from the use of technology in their classrooms, we are going to have to show them how they achieve that, and why they should do it.

Here’s the academic context.

More and more faculty members, teachers, and educators generally are finding their students are bringing their own devices into the classroom. Notes are being taken on tablets and laptops, people are tweeting classes, crosschecking ideas, facts and contexts online. And more and more educators are having to come up with a way of coping, integrating and thinking about the wall of screens their students flip up at the beginning of class.

The research is still being done, but, at present, it looks possible that unstructured laptop use might undermine attention, engagement, and learning outcome achievement. And it looks possible that structured laptop use might enhance engagement.

The study acknowledges that some papers have found positive effects of in class laptop use. Increased student engagement, motivation, increased ability to apply knowledge. Other papers (with objective criteria) have found no effects. This could be down to several casues. Papers have tended to avoid objective measuring criteria ( relying on self reported assessments – not always reliable indicators) , and few papers detail unstructured use of laptops – most are done in supported laptop implementation programs. In short, the positive effects are generally not objectively suppported, and occur in programs designed to support and spread laptop use.

Fried’s study (cited at the end of the post) argues that the multitasking aspect of laptop use (chat, tweeting, email notifications, surfing), and the distracting effect on other students of someone else using a laptop is, overall, a negative one for learning outcomes.

“Results showed that students who used laptops in class spend considerable time multitasking and that the laptop use posed a significant distraction to both users and fellow students. Most imprtantly, the level of laptop use was negatively related to several measures of student learning, including self-reported understanding of course material and overall course performance.”

Fried’s study was of 137 students at an American University, all taking the same course with the same instructor. Laptop use was unstructured. Student’s had laptops, and wifi access, and could all use or not use their laptops if, and how they wished.

Key findings.

Laptop users reported multitasking for 17 out of every 75 minutes in lectures (checking email, messaging and chat, surfing, game playing, and other activities).

Laptop use was found to have a relationship with several characteristics. “The more students used laptops in class, the lower their class performance” – laptop users scored lower on standarised tests. They also reported feeling the lectures were less clear, and that they paid less attention. Students who reported feeling clear, and paying attention, scored better on standardised tests. Laptop use by fellow students was reported by the class at large to be the single largest distractor in class.

Why this matters.

More and more research is pointing to the possibility that, if we want our students to engage well with technology in their classrooms, and in their learning, we may have to provide some support and structure for that use of technology. As educators, our use of technology in our classrooms has to be conscious, and transparent.

Our students need to know both how to use technology in their learning, and why they should use it. Unsupported laptop use looks like it might be damaging to learner engagement. And there’s evidence to indicate that supported laptop use might boost engagement, and transference.

If our students are going to use their devices in class, we need to provide support and structure for their implementation. And by intelligently using technology ourselves – by carefully considering how we engage our students, and by clear with them what constitutes good engagement – we can access the positive outcomes, and manage the negative ones.

How to achieve this

Be transparent with students. Tell them what they are doing with twitter, how they are going to do it, and why.

Carrie B. Fried, In-class laptop use and its effects on student learning, Computers & Education, Volume 50, Issue 3, April 2008, Pages 906-914, ISSN 0360-1315, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2006.09.006.
(http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360131506001436)

#twitterteach tip #10 Livetweet your lecture notes

I live tweet my lecture notes, as class happens.

How it’s useful

I find it useful in three main ways.

It forces me to be more attentive and critically engaged in class. Tweeting is a short and summary form, so to livetweet a lecture, you need to summarise, sift and sort as you go.

I benefit from the insights of others. When others livetweet the same class, and we share a hashtag, I get to see their insights, choices, assessments, and the resources they share.

I’m forced to revisit mateial. if I want to save my notes, I need to curate them. Quickly. It can be difficult to find tweets after anything more than a week. Research shows that we are much more likely to remember our ;ectures if we revisit mateiral within 24 hours. Curating my tweets involves active engagement. I sift, select, deselect, and, because of the nature of tweets/

With a pen and an A4 pad, I may not ever open the page after I’ve written it.

Twitter allows your students to take notes, and share them, immediately. It gives you an ijnsoght into who is taking notes, and what they are saying, which, we know is key to their learning. You get to see the note-taking conversation unfold as it happens, and see inside the brains of your students and they share their conceptualisation process.

Who is taking good notes, what questions are people asking, and how good are those questions. Who is retweeting what. And, it being twitter, there is always the real possibilitity that expewrts, authors, or masybe even the person you are studying will get involved in the conversation.

There’s a great post on scie-ed that documents the process

“The results were instantaneous — it was like being plugged into every student’s brain at once. You could see who was participating, who was getting the main ideas, who was extrapolating and asking good questions, and more importantly, the students could see what their peers were thinking”

“This was something that really helped, when someone tweeted a fact and half the class also tweeted the same fact it reinforced the students that they were on the right track. I would also tweet along with them to help them see if they were on the right page. The beauty of all this was that it was all uninterrupted documentary watching. No stopping and starting, no asking what was just said, it just flowed.”

http://blogs.plos.org/scied/2013/09/09/guest-post-creating-scientists-140-characters/

How to do it.

Agree on a hashtag. It should probably be different to the class hahstag, which you will want to keep for particular purposes. Livetweeting lectures can generate hundreds of tweets. Check the hashtag is not in use.

Spread the hashtag to the people who will use it.

To encourage livetweeting, monitor the hashtag in class, responding to questions, and monitor it out of class – feedback on tweets after the lecture will help add value and boost stident participation.

Use a good curation service. I use storify for this because it can be embedded in blogs, it’s easy to use, it allows crossposting from multiple sources, you can add comments – essential for in depth curation – and people will be informed if you quote them in your storify – a good boost for participation. But mainly I use it because it requires me to sift, sort and select, so my revisiting of notes is active, not passive. I select, I comment and summarise, I add in additional resources, and comment on other peoples links.