Jane is required to participate on Twitter in a class discussion during the online meeting time for her hybrid course. By tweeting with the course’s assigned hashtag, her professor and her classmates can see her contribution by clicking on that hashtag. However, Jane also uses her Twitter account for personal use and she doesn’t want her professor or her classmates to see her tweets. What should she do?
- User Type: Student
- Platform: Twitter
- Activity: participating in class discussion via a hashtag
- Considerations: The easiest thing for Jane to do would be to create a separate Twitter account and tweet with that account using the class hashtag. If she notifies her professor of her new Twitter identity privately, she can retain the privacy associated with her personal handle. However, the professor should also consider the pros and cons of asking students to participate on social media. How does Twitter, more than another platform, serve the needs of the course. Twitter can be a particularly incendiary and fractious platform for conversation so the rationale for using it in a course should be directly related to learning goals. Perhaps students are engaging in a larger public conversation about transportation in NYC, or maybe they will be using the platform to share their own ideas for improvements to our voting system. The Twitter might function as a reasonable platform for outreach and conversation. Professor Jesse Stommel has used twitter in his classes and has written a how-to guide for Teaching with Twitter. However, he has recently become weary about abuse on the platform outweighing the pedagogical possibilities.