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Beyond Bieber: Twitter Improves Student Learning

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Christine Greenhow

Christine Greenhow, assistant professor in Michigan State University's College of Education, has found that Twitter improves students' learning.

Credit: Michigan State University

Michigan State University (MSU) researchers have found that Twitter can be an effective tool to improve student learning.

MSU professor Christine Greenhow says college students who tweet as part of their instruction are more engaged with the course's content, instructor, and students, and they also get higher grades.

"Tweeting can be thought of as a new literary practice," Greenhow says. "It's changing the way we experience what we read and what we write."

Greenhow analyzed existing research and found that Twitter's real-time design enabled students and instructors to engage in sharing, collaboration, brainstorming, and the creation of a project. Additional benefits to students included learning to write concisely, performing up-to-date research, and communicating directly with authors and researchers.

In teaching a Twitter-focused college class, Greenhow notes her students participate more through the site than they do in a face-to-face environment. "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 says. "It feels authentic to them."

From MSU News 
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