It’s Official: Using Twitter Makes Students More Engaged

Further affirming what you probably already know, Twitter is evidently one of the best tools for learning and becoming an engaged student. We’ve covered the benefits of the social network ad nauseum for teachers and administrators over the past few years … but a new study solidifies the worth of Twitter for students.

Assistant Professor of Education at Michigan State University, Christine Greenhow, conducted a study titled “Twitteracy: Tweeting is a New Literary Practice.” In it, she found that college students who tweet as part of their instruction are more engaged with the course content, the teacher, other students, and they have higher grades.

“Tweeting can be thought of as a new literary practice,” said Greenhow, who also studies the growing use of social media among high-schoolers. “It’s changing the way we experience what we read and what we write.” “The students get more engaged because they feel it is connected to something real, that it’s not just learning for the sake of learning,” Greenhow said. “It feels authentic to them.”

“One of the ways we judge whether something is a new literary form or a new form of communication is whether it makes new social acts possible that weren’t possible before,” Greenhow said. “Has Twitter changed social practices and the way we communicate? I would say it has.”

Professor Greenhow also noted that Twitter usage among U.S. teens has doubled in less than two years. She states that there are now more than 200 million active users … posting more than 175 million tweets a day.

Read that again. 175 million tweets a day.

And you thought your Twitter stream was crowded?!

The study appears in the research journal Educational Forum.

Greenhow’s research comes on the heels of another MSU study about changing communication practices among college students. That study, led by Jeff Grabill, found that first-year college students value texting more than any other writing style. -MSU News

1 Comment

  1. Aaron Puley

    October 21, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    I can 100% concur and add to this conversation that Twitter is an engaging medium for students. At two of our recent Director’s Student Voice Forums (Secondary School students) we asked them a series of questions: “What makes a Great School? (#GREATschools), What does it mean for you to have more program choices? (#PROGRAMchoices), and more….This year, we encouraged them to use devices in their pockets to interact – a BYOD addition to an en masse blended learning environment. The main hashtag #HWDSBvoices would gather the conversation and the secondary hashtags would gather the topics. The results were extraordinary. There were 200+ tweets the first day and 500+ tweets the second. This form of engagement and interaction speaks volumes! Student live in a world of social media. If we harness the world in which they live for teaching and learning then we are truly honouring and celbrating the workld in which they live and their individual learning styles as a result. In survey, students told us they are active on Twitter and we responded accordingly. What amazing result thus far! Check it out: http://storify.com/bloggucation/hwdsbvoices-student-voice-forum-south-cluster and http://storify.com/bloggucation/hwdsbvoices-student-voice-forum-west-cluster