How to Create a Virtual Learning Environment With Twitter

Twitter came to the attention of the wider world with the recent New York plane crash/rescue where a participant took a photograph on his camera phone. Through Twitter, it was flashed around the phone before the “traditional” news agencies were on the scene.

Barack Obama also used twitter to update followers on his presidential campaign. Barack Obama is the most “followed” person in the world. (Or twittersphere)

So what is twitter?

Twitter is an online microblogging service.

What?

OK, in real language, its a cross between a blog a text message and a conversation that the rest of the world can hear. Viewed & posted on a web browser on a standard computer. Anyone can register and it is free. “Twitterers” can post short messages (up to 140 characters in length) which can be read by their “followers” (people who chose to receive updates from this person or organisation). Think for a second of the power of this – and bear in mind that a message can contain a link to a webpage, a photograph, video clip etc etc. It’s like being able to send a message to the world…

So why should I create a learning environment in twitter? Well, one of the advantages of online training is that both participants don’t have to be present at the same time for an event to take place. That’s the same in twitter. Sending an email has reliability problems, people use different computers, spam filters remove genuine message – in short, don’t rely on email…

With twitter though, everything is displayed on a webpage and (subject to user remembering user name & password) can be displayed anywhere in the world. So, a teacher or trainer can send a booklist or reading list to students the week before an event via twitter  & students can communicate & collaborate in real time or over time zones. How do I do this?, I don’t want the whole world hearing my conversation. When you go into twitter to set up your account, you can specify that your updates are protected (made private)

This is how to do it

When you register at twitter.com – go to the top right hand corner of the account screen & tick the “settings” option. Then, tick the “protect my updates” option This means that your updates, (posts) will not be published in the “public timeline” – messages that are entered by twitterers all over the world. That’s it, of course it’s not 100% secure, so don’t post what you really think of that new teacher (but you wouldn’t do that anyway would you?)

This short article was brought to you by Sharp End Training. A Sheffield based online training & assessment company. We can be contacted via http://www.sharp-end-training.co.uk

The author, Jonathan Senior is a Chartered Manager and member of the Chartered Institute. He has extensive experience of training & management in all types of business.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jonathan_Senior

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