I am developing an extra credit assignment for my graduate student around Twitter use, and would love some feedback! Any thoughts or suggestions will be appreciated, as I will hope to make this live for them later this week.
Let me give you a bit of context. I plan to adapt this for two different groups of students: graduate nursing students (all of whom already work in health care at this time) and for graduate management & systems students (many of who are looking for a better job or their first professional position). Both groups commonly avoid public social media for professional reasons — they are concerned they may do or say something that could be construed as problematic for their work. I am trying to demonstrate that the contrary is also possible, namely that through curating content and connecting with a professional network they may also improve their professional standing and reputation.
Thus, this extra credit to try to tempt them into using this in a way that may be beneficial and helpful for their work and reputation while also increasing learning opportunities in our courses.
Would really appreciate any thoughts or feedback, either here or via Twitter. Thanks in advance!
Twitter Extra Credit
Purpose: The purpose of this extra credit is to introduce you to some of the professional benefits of using Twitter for content curation, information sharing, promoting a positive professional digital identity / digital citizenship, and communication. This is not intended to be work, rather an opportunity to expand your professional and personal network.
Background: Twitter’s mission is, “To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.” It has over 320,000,000 active users, including nearly all entertainment, political, religious, and professional bodies who use text-sized posts, called Tweets, to communicate and engage with followers. For our purpose, consider some of those within nursing who use Twitter in a professional way, such as the American Journal of Nursing @AmJNurs, the New York Times Health @NYTHealth, the John A. Hartford Foundation @JHARTFOUND, Carol Porter (Chief Nursing Officer @MountSinaiNYC) @CarolPorterCNO, and even an account specifically created for Child Nursing students at Sheffield Hallam University @SHUChildNursing
How to use Twitter: This is a multi-part assignment that is intended to give you a flavor for some of the benefits and use of using Twitter to learn, ask questions, share questions, and engage with colleagues. More than many other tools, the true value of Twitter is often not understood until it is experienced. This “task” is worth up to 5 points on your final grade.
Read a bit about how to use Twitter:
- Getting Started with Twitter
- How to Use Twitter Effectively to Experience its Full Potential
- Is Twitter a Pedagogical Tool in Higher Education? Perspectives of Education Graduate Students
- Tweeting in Higher Education: Best Praactices
- Using Twitter in Higher Education
Extra Credit Assignment: This is a multi-part assignment stretching over at least a month that is intended to give you a flavor for some of the benefits and use of using Twitter to learn, ask questions, share questions, and engage with colleagues. More than many other tools, the true value of Twitter is often not understood until it is experienced. This “task” is worth up to 5 points on your final grade. I am hoping to include the specifics here, discuss them with my students online, and then provide a live demonstration to help some get started.
- Create a Twitter account (if you do not have one already). It should be a public account so others can see your Tweets.
- It can be anonymous and does NOT have to include your name, though you may find that an anonymous account (such as @TheCoolRNinNYC, without a name on the account) may not be taken as seriously as one where it is really listed as you. However, if you want to be anonymous, please email me who you are so I can follow you.
- You can always change your Twitter account name at any time once you start it.
- Follow me @JeffreyKeefer and I will follow you back (make sure I know it is you). Tweet any question or comment to at any time, though remember DO NOT INCLUDE GRADE INFORMATION PUBLICLY (cf. FERPA requirements).
- Follow our course hashtag: #NURS761
- Find and follow at least 20 accounts (search for your classmates, people you know, employers, professional associations, friends, programs you like . . . anything! For some non-nursing ideas, I came up with @GameofThrones or ABC7 Eyewitness News or even the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- Reply at least 2x / week to other accounts
- ReTweet at least 1 post 1x / week.
- Contribute, share, or ReTweet something related to our course, including our course tag #NURS761, at least 1x / week
- Send me a summary (public or private via Direct Tweet) of what you did or learned each week.
Full Educational Disclosure: I find Twitter valuable for my personal, professional, and academic work, and intend this extra credit as an opportunity for you to try some of this on for yourselves in a way that works for your own life. Once you start this, you will find this to be the easiest extra credit you were ever offered.