Better learning through Twitter

Getting the latest news is my favorite thing about Twitter. I glance at my timeline probably 20 times a day to check for information. In a way, I’m really using Twitter as a learning tool – my timeline is a source of information to educate me about events or actions that may influence my decision-making process. However, it never occurred to me that Twitter could be used as an actual learning tool – supplementing, not replacing, resources such as text books. It did, however, occur to BH Aitchanov, Profession, PhD in CS Academic of International Informatization Academy KazNTU, Kazakhstan and PhD students A B Satabaldiyev and K N Latuta of Suleyman Demirel University, Kazakhstan. They released a paper titled, “Application of micro learning technique and Twitter for educational purposes” via the Journal of Physics: Conference Series.

Their paper reviews the usage of a social resource, such as Twitter, as a micro learning technique for educational purposes. The problem, as the identify it, is that most instructors are unaware that, with the help of social networks, the student’s productivity can increase. Their research was applied on CS205 Advanced Programming in C++ course at Suleyman Demirel University in Kazakhstan. The collected results show that in a modern world of emerging mobile technologies, educators should improve their way of teaching by adding electronically supported learning methods. Specifically, they focused on the significance of micro learning techniques.

They point out that people consider how to systematically use micro-sharing, made possible using tools like Twitter, to connect, share and discover information. The authors postulate that Twitter, with its 140 character limitation, would be perfect for delivering short bytes of learning content – and for creating a community of learners around that content. They created a separate Twitter account to test their concept and sent out a series of tweets that consisted of a fact (an engaging statement that makes the learner want to click a link) and a link (supporting short resource). A primary concept for their work was that ubiquitous technology can be usefully applied for micro learning because it can reach users throughout the day, when they have idle time. Users can look through and revise subscribed course’s data while spending time in public transport, waiting in line, or in the brief transition periods between activities. Brief interactions allow users to chip away at a larger learning goal and may serve a priming role by repeatedly bringing the learning task to their attention. Users may then be more mentally prepared to take advantage of richer learning opportunities, such as those that occur naturally during actual social events.

After careful testing and applied methodology, their authors concluded that students were able to access study material outside of the university. The data they received was compressed and sliced into small chunks of information which generated measurable results. While they are quick to point out that their paper demonstrates a simple example how to use Twitter and micro learning technique for educational purposes, enterprises could use this approach as well.

Their excellent paper demonstrates that their is a necessity for researching this field of study, which is not yet complete.