The topic post I would like to revise is topic post #4. You can find the original topic post #4 here: Topic Post #4. As I am learning many new ideas in terms of open learning education through this course, I felt that I was too dependent on traditional education to miss out on many other opportunities out there to help with my learning, for example, Twitter. For the topic of Twitter as a learning tool, I would like to further explore these open platforms like which can be effectively used for learning.
As I am learning and exploring the concept of open learning education in this course and with the idea of using Twitter for learning has been brought up in topic 4, I am no longer thinking open education as it can just be open courses or open learning webs for learners. Social media like Twitter has become essential in many people’s lives, especially for the younger generation, and can become a great open platform for learners depend on how it been used.
On Twitter, the voice of the user is amplified. Users can post short text with 280 characters to express the main idea. Other users can comment and retweet on a blog to reaches the purpose of exchanges ideas and transmits the information at the same time. Twitter has been used as a learning platform for some teachers and their students. Twitter has been described as “it enabled students to rake an active role as co-producers rather than just recipients of knowledge”. This is the progress that shifting from teaching to mutual learning. (Stephansen&Couldry, 2014). In this way, students can acquire more ideas from their peers, and to consummate their own thinking. In addition, Twitter provides a shared and safe place for students and teachers to communicate outside of the classroom, for example, creating a specific account or a topic under a specific hashtag. They help to efficiently gather students to share ideas and discuss in a “space”. More importantly, creating this kind of space on Twitter “extended the Spatio-temporal reach of social relations, so contributing to community formation”, because members in a large department do not all interact face-to-face on a regular basis(Stephansen&Couldry cited Thomspon, 2014). Overall, there are many spaces of different fields for users to build up connections with the others on same interest and enhance knowledge in the process of reading others’ blogs and have discussions on the topic.
Twitter also is a platform where users are able to find various resources and events, and also to share useful resources. Especially for students as “budding social workers”, we have limited knowledge about “local agencies and resources”. On these social media especially like Twitter where students can “easily share information about community events, available resources, and educational workshops”(Becky &&Jennifer cited Lotan et al, 2017). There are also plenty of educational accounts that users can follow, the posts in these accounts are relevantly useful for education purposes. Because of the limit on characters, every post is concise, which helps users to identify the valuable information and also find the helpful resources and links shared by others in a short time.
Apart from all the benefits that Twitter brings to learners, Twitter also could harm learners and educators. According to researchers who studied students used Twitter to analyze the 1904 novel, and compare them with students used traditional classroom teaching methods. And the result shows “who used Twitter saw the performance on the test reduced by about 25 percent to 40 percent of a standard deviation from the average result”(Frazin, 2019). A lot of stuff on Twitter could distract learners’ minds from the focus on only the knowledge, such as negative statements and news, inauthentic news and entertainment information, etc. These sorts of things are components of a public online platform like Twitter. Although there are different voices that have raised regarding the efficiency of Twitter learning, I believe that learners actually need to determine if using Twitter as a learning tool is suitable for their own learning according to their own situation.
- Frazin Rachel (2019) Study finds Twitter has a negative effect on learning. https://thehill.com/policy/technology/technology/446275-study-finds-twitter-has-a-negative-effect-on-learning