sexta-feira, 1 de julho de 2011

Maraani K. Diamant
Can social networking help your grades?
            This is the technology age. There are more tools and access to information than ever before. The question is how can those tools help you in college. Based on new researches, the answer is simple: stay connected. Currently, Twitter has over 200 million users (Slutsky 2). Twitter is a tool, which makes use of short sentences -140 characters called “tweets” and makes it instantly available for all your followers. Followers are people that decide to read your tweets.
            Than, before you start taking a class, you can share the experiences of other students, what will be the class will be about, what the subject is going to be discussed and what you can do to be successful in that class. “Twitter is quickly becoming a global faculty lounge.” (Young, 10 High Fliers on Twitter 2). Young also mentions that twitter is “a soup made by short-order cooks.” That means that you can have all the information that you need fresh and quickly, just like a fast food of news.
            Besides, a good way for students to be prepared for the classes is by discussing the subjects and exchanging experiences with other students. Twitter is a powerful tool to talk with many professors in the field, that many times are happy to help students. Also, social networking is a good way for asking questions and reading tips of other students and professors in how to get better grades in that field or class. Twitter is also a good way to learn how to be concise, since it doesn’t allow you to use long sentences. “Even the most long-winded blowhards to boil each pint down to its essence” (Young, 10 High Fliers on Twitter 3). In other words, we learn how to use the essence of facts and information to be able to express it in the simple and easy way. 
            Also, a good way of learning is interacting, and innovate is the key word for today’s classes. Twitter is a way to get instant and accurate access to information in the classroom because it is worldwide network, allowing any information across the globe to be in your hand. Sharing the in class experience is a good way of remembering what was discussed in class and what you have learned. So, “Twitter was used to continue conversations begun in class” (G. Heiberger 3). Also, Heiberger mentions that the level of stress from a student to ask questions through twitter is very low compared to the level of stress measured by students asking question in class. In other words, Twitter can help the shy students to more effectively ask questions that they wouldn’t in classroom.   
            Many people are now using Twitter. They face the fact that Twitter can help students and get information for them faster and in a accurate way. (Young, 10 High Fliers on Twitter 4). In the “10 Best College Twitters” that he found, Young refers for Mr. MacLeod as “argues that professors have been too slow do adopt Twitter. Academic discussions often take place on closed e-mail lists, when they should be happening in public forums like Twitter” (Young, 10 High Fliers on Twitter 4). His statement means that professors should try to follow the new technology in order to make students life easier.
            Besides, the way of dealing with this new technology is still an issue for some people. Some professors are “watching such experiments with a mix of curiosity and disbelief” (Young, Teaching with twitter: Not for the Faint of Heart 2). On the other hand, students may seem to really enjoy the fact that they can express their opinion. Young mentions that even if the use of twitter was not required for the class in question, 75% of the students were making use of it because they can express themselves and ask questions openly and at any time for everyone in class to see. This is a good thing because many students are shy or do not want to make a question because they may think it is a silly question, but with the use of a social networking, they are all equal, and can ask their questions with no fear.
        Moreover, social networking is also a new way to see society, since people don’t care too much about your race, culture or beliefs. They just care about the information that you have to share and the way you express it. People can find you based on what you write, and not on who you are. (Zandt 149)
            Another great thing about Twitter is that you do not need to have much time to use it We live in a world where everything needs to be done fast, and there are tons of things to do every day. In the book “Share This”, Zandt mentions the use of Twitter as a good tool for getting you a good time saving because you can use it basically everywhere, even in your cellphone in a red sign. (Zandt 110) People also noticed the decrease of emails sent by other people with social networking, which means that you need to spend less time looking for news and reading long e-mails. The “tweets” only have 140 characters.
            In terms of effect of Twitter on the grades, the study made by Heiberger shows that “Twitter for educationally relevant purposes has a positive effect on grades”. (G. Heiberger 6). She also mentions that students are well motivated in their conversation and engaged in the interaction. Twitter also makes the concept of study group just a tweet away. Since they are all connected, all they need to do is start interacting at any time from anywhere to have a discussion about a subject.
            Therefore, not only before class and in class, but also out of classrooms twitter is showing to be a good tool for students to review their work, share their experiences and even get job opportunities. “Support collaboration, community building, participation and sharing.” (G. Heiberger 3). That is the goal of twitter. Not only are you exchanging facts, but also ideas and opinions, on how each individual sees a situation, based on his cultural beliefs or personal experiences. . Young mentions in the “10 High Fliers on Twitter” that Twitter is a good way for leaders to express themselves and a lot of them are finding Twitter useful and a powerful tool. Learn how to become a leader and be successful can be easier if you learn how to be successful on Twitter. Young listed the Top 10 Twitter profiles in education in his work, and find out that they were all natural leaders and people that were doing researches about the use of the social networking and its use in college and student life.
            Another great thing about Twitter is the fact that students can make the class seems more friendly and “warm”. In an experiment in which professors were using the social networking in the classes to test it, there were some events like people taking votes to see if they would have class on a holiday or not. (Young, Teaching with twitter: Not for the Faint of Heart 2). They ended having class, but this kind of interaction between the classmates can bring a certain amount of friendship.
            Students also have the tendency to engage better when using new technology. The research by Loken shows that students were really engaged by asking questions easily and with better attendance to classes and discussions online than in normal classes. (G. Heiberger 5). It is a big challenge to create a way to integrate new technologies as tools to teach students, but they are needed to get in the demand of the new era of computers, tablets and internet.
            It is a good idea for students to replace their journals for notebooks or internet devices. The student can have almost unlimited access to everything he wants. It is even a good idea to replace the paper books for digital books, and the backpacks for only covers for devices.
            Besides, you can have access to all that information from really anywhere – you just need access to internet and an internet device, which is almost everywhere, and many times it is free. Furthermore, the social interaction can even give you a job opportunity. Twitter is an open tool, which everybody can have access to your ideas, information and experiences. It is a good way to show your skills and be noticed.
            Thus, based on the research, the social networking is a good way to improve your grades, by using its tool before class, to be prepared and take the right classes; in class, where you can have access to any information at any time from anywhere; and after class, to exchange experiences and even finding job opportunities, Twitter is your window to the world – it is not for any other reason that Twitter symbol is a bird.







            G. Heiberger, E. Loken. "The effect of Twitter on College student engagement and grades." Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 27.2 (2011): 119-132.
Halligan, Tom. "The Social Media Evolution." Community College Journal (2010).
Slutsky, Irina. "Ad growing pains for Twitter." Advertising Age 82.14 (2011): 1-3.
Young, Jeffrey R. "10 High Fliers on Twitter." The Chronicle of Higher Education 55.31 (2009): 1-5.
—. "Teaching with twitter: Not for the Faint of Heart." Chronicle of Higher Education 56.14 (2009): 1-4.
Zandt, Deanna. Share This! San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2010.