Educational Outcomes for Live Tweeting with Students

My first article of 2016 is co-authored with my good colleague, Jimmy Young from California State University San Marcos, and is about using live tweeting with social work students.  Here is a link to the article (with free access for the first 50 copies): Tweet, Tweet!: Using Live Twitter Chats in Social Work Education.

First, I want to thank my colleagues with #MacroSW Chat.  Their support and willingness to collaborate helped to make this assignment and study possible.

We conducted a small pilot study to see what our students thought about using Twitter in the classroom.  Jimmy and I have long supported the use of social media in social work education as a tool for professional development.  When students know how to use social media as a professional social worker, they will have a better understanding of the role of social and digital media in the life of 21st Century social workers, including the benefits of creating  professional learning networks and the pitfalls of potential ethical dilemmas.

Our study found that students reported positive learning outcomes by using Twitter as an assignment in a course and that engaging in a live Twitter chat enhanced learning of course content.  Additionally, students reported that by talking and learning about social media in the classroom, they had a better understanding of social media use by social workers.  We plan to conduct a larger study to expand upon this research.

If you are an educator wanting to incorporate this chat as an assignment into your class, please click here for details.

Here is a copy of the abstract from our article:

This article focuses on the use of Twitter and how it can be used to help students develop professional social work skills through live chats. An overview of the literature on Twitter in education is provided along with a discussion on New Media Literacies. A description of a live Twitter chat assignment with social work students is provided along with results from a survey assessing learning outcomes from the experience. Implications for social work education and suggestions for future research are also provided.

Author: Laurel Hitchcock

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