• Technology Application Center

Twitter a Great Educational Tool

Today’s students learn differently. E-Learning has changed the learning process; students thrive with collaboration, and instant feedback.  Today, eLearning is almost inseparable from mobile learning or the use of handheld computing devices to provide access to learning content.  Mobile Learning or mLearning, an extended arm of eLearning is designed to deliver learning content in bits and pieces rather than large units of information. One of the tools that make mobile learning dynamically possible is Twitter.

Before we begin describing how twitter can expand the classrooms beyond the static boundaries and traditional pedagogy, it is helpful to say a few things about Twitter itself. Twitter is a microblogging website that allows users to share ideas, send text entries, ask questions, and respond to inquiries. These are all collectively called Tweets which do not exceed 140 characters. Tweets are displayed in the user profile page and are also sent to all users who opt to receive them. People, who have chosen to receive your tweets, are called your followers. You can follow people and what they say, and they can follow you, and what you say.

The concept of “following” creates a conversation space where instructors can connect to their students on a wider level as well as on a personal level before and after the lecture. Before the start of class, thought- provoking topics for class discussion can be tweeted to students with the intent of motivating students to begin thinking about the topic before coming into the class.

Twitter, used in this example, is an excellent medium for encouraging critical thinking. The instructor can send a tweet to activate student’s background information about the topic by raising questions even before the lecture begins. Additionally, instructors can use Twitter after the lecture as a rapid fire recap of class discussions by asking students to summarize key points, to polling questions, to solicit student’s feedback, and as a reminder of deadlines for projects and homework.

The decentralized communication method of twitter gives the students an alternative way to participate, improving their personal communication skills, and providing an outlet to ask questions. The dynamics of an intellectual yet homogenous learning environment where students contentiously drive the discussion and argue their points is difficult to create when the lecture is over. With the help of Twitter, whether it is an intellectual debate or a follow-up to a research idea; the discussion can continue even when the lecture is over.

The only way to find out how Twitter can help your class is to create your own Twitter feed and start tweeting. You will be surprised that many of your students are already veteran Twitter users. Please don’t forget to follow us @tactraining. 

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Free Microsoft Office Webinars

Every Tuesday, Microsoft offers a free 15-minute webinar about the various Office products. The webinars cover topics such as Creating Forms in Word, Using Animations in PowerPoint and Five Top Free Training Courses and Tips. If you can’t join them for the live webinar, you can watch the recording later. Each webinar topic includes a list of objectives and references.

To learn more about these free webinars visit the March 19th Office Blogs post for more topics and links to the upcoming and previous webinars.


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Blackboard Content Editor Updates

The content editor allows you to add and format text, insert equations and hyperlinks, tables, and attach different types of files to content. The editor appears throughout Blackboard and is always available to all users.   More information about the content editor can be found on Blackboard Help.  The content editor in Blackboard was updated this week and the MS Word copy/paste  and a few other issues should be resolved.

The updated building block should resolve the following:

  • HTML editing breaks formatting and images
  • Unable to get ouf the Visual Text Box Editor using keyboard only
  • Radio button is not displayed to select files when adding files through Content Editor using Insert/Edit links
  • Embedded YouTube videos not playing with Firefox 23 browser
  • Pasting from Word does not strip extraneous formatting
  • Content Editor Paste from Word will not strip certain code in Firefox and Chrome
  • Unable to copy bulleted text from Word file to VTBE Editor


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McGraw-Hill Learning Solutions STEM Campus Leader Speaker Series

McGraw Hill has a Campus Leader Speaker Series this spring that is focusing on STEM topics.  To register for any of these session, click on the registration links below.

Success in STEM: Implementing Student Placement Redesign and Enhancing Student Success in Math
(James Breslin, University of Kentucky)
Tuesday, March 25th at 1:00 PM (EST): REGISTRATION LINK

Course Redesign to Improve Student Performance in High Stakes Programs
(Dr. Michael Windelspecht, Appalachian State University)
Thursday, March 27th at 1:00 PM (EST):   REGISTRATION LINK

Success in STEM: Institutional Considerations to improve STEM Readiness: Prep, Summer Bridge, and Placement
(Dr. Jason Overby, College of Charleston)
Thursday, April 10th at 1:00 PM (EST): REGISTRATION LINK

 About McGraw-Hill Learning Institute
The mission of the McGraw-Hill Learning Institute is to foster institutional excellence by bringing together faculty and academic thought leaders to explore and encourage new approaches to teaching and learning. Other Seminars are happening this Spring for interactive discussion, more information on the seminars can be found on the McGraw-Hill Learning Institute website.

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