The importance of social media in education was the theme of January’s session as Dr. Brett Bodsgard, Chemistry, and Dean Beckman, Mass Communication, talked about how they are using Twitter in their classrooms.

Although initially Bodsgard required Twitter use and used it for assignments and extra credit messages, he scaled back use when students complained that they had too many places to check for this kind of information.  He now uses it very successfully as a supplemental with students who want to get more engagement with the subject of chemistry.  This has helped him to develop relationships with students that have continued even after graduation; now he has alumni involved in keeping up with the people and developments in the field.

Since Twitter has become an industry standard for journalists, Beckman requires the use of Twitter in two of his classes.  Students are awarded up to 25 points for tweeting activity.  They are expected  to use Twitter as  professionals and to follow events and people in their field.  Beckman said Twitter has also become an important networking tool for student  job seekers. Like Bodsgard,  Beckman sees Twitter as a valuable method for keeping in touch with alumni.

The group got a student perspective from Connie Budin, who talked about how she had become a Twitter convert in Beckman’s class.  Budin uses Twitter to not only keep up with developments in her field, but as an easy way to stay current with the news.

Missed the session? View it on Tegrity.

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