WordPress.com to Twitter to Twitter widget in your course
By Steve Covello - Rich Media Specialist/Instructional Designer
Granite State College
@idmodule - http://idmodule.com
Here is the sequence of setups needed to get student blogs in WordPress.com into a Twitter feed in your course:
1 - Everyone has their own WordPress.com blog.
2 - Everyone needs a Twitter account and their Twitter account activated in the Share settings within their WordPRess.com blog.
3 - Everyone’s blog posts needs the course Twitter hashtag included the in the post title. Each post needs to be set to be pushed to their Twitter account. By default, this is always set on.
4 - In the instructor’s Twitter acct, create a widget, get the embed code. See the instructions below. Copy/paste the embed code and place it in your course in an HTML widget or app in the LMS where the widget code can be pasted.
The posts will then show up in the Twitter widget in the course.
How to add a Twitter widget in your course:
- Log in to your Twitter account.
- Access your Settings, which are found when you click on your profile image in the upper right corner.
- Click Settings.
- Click on the widgets tab ===>
- Click on Create New
- Click on the Search tab
- In the Search Query box, type in a search a term. This can be a hashtag: #bowling, or a simple search term: criminal justice.
- Click the blue Create Widget button.
- Copy the embed code under the Preview panel.
- Moodle: In your course (in Edit mode), add a new HTML block. Canvas: Consult your Ed Tech professional.
- Within the HTML block, set the content area to HTML view. Paste in the widget embed code. Save.
The tweets will update automatically. If you need to change the search term, you can reuse your widget in Twitter and just change the search term. Generate a new widget embed code and replace the old code in your course.
Using Twitter as a Search Engine
by Steve Covello
Twitter can be used like Google -- as a search engine! You don’t even need an account. Learners can sample information from a current realtime stream of relevant content and compare their findings against literature or course discussion.
What you need:
- Internet access via browser
- A purpose for curating good content and sharing it.
- Post an activity in your class where students can share their findings on Twitter with the rest of the class (Discussion Forum, blog, wiki, etc.).
- Send students to the Twitter search URL: https://twitter.com/search-home
- Offer guidance on what to look for. Provide hashtags or direct them to locate lists of hashtags (on Google) used in professional or scholarly practice.
- Post instructions on how to post findings. (See below).
Advise students to post their findings in a shared resource or forum with the following information:
- Summarize the content of the findings.
- Include the hashtag or search term used to find it.
- Include the author of the tweet (account info) and any significant background information about the author or organization who tweeted it.
- Describe how the findings relate to the course topic or challenge.
Why this works...
- Twitter is an authentic tool used by professional practitioners so they can be immersed in an area of interest. When students learning how to use Twitter, they can be connected to professional and scholarly discourse in realtime, build follower networks, and contribute to contemporary discourse. Hashtags enable students to monitor specific sub-topics or industry segments that pertain to their future interests.
- Using contemporary issues as a basis for analysis and application of new knowledge helps promote a sense of closeness to authentic practice.
- When students share their findings, it supports building a personal learning network which will be useful for a lifetime of continuous learning.
- Assessing student work that is based on immersion in real world situations may be a more valid predictor of the quality of students’ future peer interactions since the activity resembles the actual tasks they will be expected to perform in the field.
The Bottom Line: Students may find activities more meaningful if they can apply what they learn to what is happening right now in authentic practice according to their personal goals. This is preferable to simply asking students to comment on what is written in a textbook.