As a new intern in Student Advising Services (SAS), I am learning how the department uses technology to interact with the student popuation. Popular mediums such as Facebook and Twitter are used. The video “How to Write an Impressive and Stellar College Admissions Essay" could easily be linked as a tweet on Twitter or as a status update on Facebook. This would allow students who follow SAS to have this resource. Also, since academic advisors review a lot of admission essays (particularly for graduate schools), these advisors could send the link of this video to students before they meet with them. By doing so, this allows for advisors and the students they are meeting with to have a common understanding about what an admissions essay entails and what it does not, thereby maximizing opportunity and effectively managing time.
After following others (mostly educational), I still feel a little disconnected from the mircoblogging tool. I find myself going to Bloglines for the latest in news and updates in Higher Education and not Twitter. However, there is one member that I am following that routinely updates some interesting news in Higher Ed. I also noticed that the other members that I am following do not post as much. So, I think I might need some new followers! By doing so, this will not only give more of a range of posts on my Twitter page but also enable more responses once and if I ever have any questions, comments, or need feedback.
My first thoughts of Twitter was that of another social networking site such as Facebook but different in that you only update your status. After reading “CAN WE USE TWITTER FOR EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES?” I found that Twitter can in fact be used as an educational tool. For my purposes in Higher Education, I could use Twitter to find out the latest news at surrounding college campuses as well as those campuses located on the other side of the country. I could also use Twitter with other Higher Educational professionals to network and share ideas and receive opinions from one another. I really liked the idea about using Twitter at conferences. The authors state that at conferences, “Twitter can provide a simple way for attendees at a conference to share thoughts about particular sessions and activities with others at the event and those unable to attend.” Since conferences are a large component in Higher Education, Twitter is definitely a tool that could be useful to some.
I also found an interesting article from The Chronicle that discussed what college campuses are already doing with Twitter. In Forget E-Mail: New Messaging Service Has Students and Professors Atwitter, the author Jeffrey Young discusses how some college professors are using Twitter as a means to reflect on a class and receive instant feedback from students. Others have thought of using microblogging as a way to cancel class or send out emergency notifications. While still configuring the workings of a possible University wide system, Twitter seems to rest with individual usage. One instructor from Marietta College notes that “Twitter can be a much faster way to get help from colleagues than sending an e-mail message to a list or posting a question on a blog.” Instead of waiting for responses, many users go to Twitter to get instant answers and feedback.
With all the ideas that have been listed above, I think Twitter is a tool that all Higher Education professionals should look at and at least try. You never know how beneficial some “tweets” could be!