There Is Not Research on the Impact of Twitter on Education
Posted Oct 16 2009 10:00pm
If we still want to submit the social sciences to be probed by scientific science, then we will never accept Twitter as a good tool in the classroom. @kamanzo of Education Week posts an interesting article about Twitter in the classroom.
Kathleen Kennedy Manzo (@kamanzo) quotes Daniel T. Willingham, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville. He is charged to be said: Twitter "It’s not a research-based tool,... The most important thing to remember is that we have no idea what impact these tools have on learning, and it will take a decade to answer that question."
We do agree with that. Maybe not a decade, but if we are to expect scientific confirmation, there is nothing in technology than can be successful, not to mention the so called innovation in the modern economy.
It is true that Twitter did not catch fire as much as Facebook and MySpace for social networking but as Kathleen declares, "young adults are the fastest-growing group of users." In other words, we the teachers have the immense responsibility to prepare these young adults how to skim information efficiently and quickly.
Pamela B. Rutledge, the director of the Media Psychology Research Center at Fielding Graduate University, an online degree program is another of the invitees to the discussion. Students "Are going to need to have highly developed critical-thinking skills, be able to digest large amounts of information, and determine what’s important and what’s not." These among other things people using Twitter needs to master.
The article recommended to be read in its entirety closes quoting again Mr. Willingham when he questions the real use and power of tools like Twitter: "We can’t all just be contributing to wikis and tweeting each other. Somebody’s got to create something worth tweeting."
There is not research but as more and more teachers start using Twitter in a variety of classroom projects, it seems the practice will be the only empirical foundation to let children get away with their multitasking and huge capacity to use social media tools like Twitter.
Should research kill Twitter in our school rooms? I don't think so.
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