Teaching by Tweeting: Is Your Media Social Enough?

Teaching isn’t quite what it used to be. Yes, the rulers and belts went to the wayside some time ago – but in this Information Age professors are continuously presented with new teaching challenges. What could possibly be interesting enough to pull away a college student from texting and tweeting? Especially when we are talking accounting classes 🙂

Some teachers have decided to put their class on the offense and use these tools to their advantage. Incorporating these platforms into an accounting classroom can increase participation, creativity, and information sharing. Laptops and iPhones aren’t leaving the classroom anytime soon, but accounting teachers can take advantage of these mediums to facilitate student engagement and foster learning.

By connecting with students via Twitter, David Perry, a professor at the University of Texas, is able to gain insights on the readings he gives his students, his students lives outside of the classroom, and answer questions directly and not on class time. University of Texas at Dallas History Professor, Monica Rankin uses twitter hashtags (#) and projects a live feed of tweets at the front of the room. Twitter provides a medium to connect with students through a cutting edge medium provide homework assignments, give feedback, ask insightful questions to spark debates (even during class!), send out test or appointment updates, and post links to related material. It has the ability to individualize the classroom and help students feel less like one of the masses, while also giving the professor the ability to excite students about material and have them apply to their outside lives.

Facebook is also becoming more commonplace in education. Universities are setting up Facebook Pages that students can follow for updates on campus events, class availability, and other news. For example, Menlo College recently announced the opening of new majors (including Accounting) via a Facebook page. Setting up group pages for your classes is also a great way to encourage participation, supplement in class information, or pose questions. Consider putting up some practice questions or CPA Exam questions that students can have access to this way they are putting in extra effort and using real world applications of the knowledge they have gained.

Blogs can also be incorporated into teaching methodology. Past professors have had students blog about the subject matter relevant to their own life, their struggles with any information. Participation can be sparked through commenting, having the students help one another on hard accounting principles, or sharing CPA Exam study tips and tricks.

Overall, students enjoy participating in cutting-edge classroom environments. By using the mediums that they relate to the most, professors can engage their students and cultivate positive learning environments where the students want and choose to learn. Also, these techniques can save time at work and help professors get more done in less time by having the students help create and direct the class.

Try these sites for more information:
Social Media Uses
How Twitter and Facebook are fueling classroom learning
Free Tech 4 Teachers
*Photo by Chris Miles

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