UPDATE: Easily add current, course-relevant news to your Moodle courses
UPDATE: This post was updated on 9/12/2012 after Twitter changed its widget creator.
Ideas for using Twitter in higher education are easy to find. One simple way to use Twitter is to embed a widget into your Moodle course. Embedding Twitter into Moodle is an easy way to add current, course-relevant news and opinions to your course. Twitter is full of companies, news organizations, non-profits, professional associations, activists, politicians, celebrities and more – nearly every discipline can find something of value on Twitter. It’s easy,
and you don’t even need a Twitter account (though you’ll have more options if you do) and all you need is a Twitter account. This post includes ideas for using Twitter in Moodle and step-by-step instructions for adding a Twitter widget to your Moodle course.
Ideas for use
IDEA 1: Follow professional organizations and news sources relevant to your course to start classroom discussions
- Examples Twitter accounts of professional organizations or news sources: @AdAge (advertising/marketing), @ChemistryWorld (chemistry), @sociologically (sociology), @AIGAdesign (design), @GettyMuseum (art), @WSJBusiness (Business), @USPhysTherapy (physical therapy), @WWIIToday (history)
IDEA 2: Follow known professionals in the field and help students develop their professional social media network
- Find scholars, CEOs, writers, activists, and more. Go to www.wefollow.com and search for the discipline you want to find people. For example, for a list of people who post about “writing”, search for writing.
IDEA 3: Find brands or marketing firms for examples of social media marketing and customer service
- Example Twitter accounts from well known companies: @BestBuy, @Zappos_Service, @comcastcares, @Starbucks, @SouthwestAir
IDEA 4: Find international organizations or native speakers who post in their native language
- Examples of Twitter accounts for foreign language courses: @spanishbot, @germanlanguage, @SPIEGEL_English, @frenchToday, @franceintheus
IDEA 5: Encourage students to write about course-relevant experiences they have outside of the classroom and label those tweets with a course-specific hashtag. Or, encourage students to retweet news they have found on Twitter and share it with the whole the class.
A Twitter account is required to make a widget. Create a Twitter account here.
How do I find people/companies to follow?
Websites like WeFollow.com can help find interesting accounts on Twitter. It works best to search by a topic, like chemistry or economics, rather than with a specific person or organization name. If you are looking for a specific person/organization, it is easiest to search at twitter.com/search.
How to embed Twitter into Moodle
Learn how to embed a Twitter widget into your Moodle course.
Canary Wharf news ticker image by Wikimedia Commons user Senseiich / Creative Commons licensed BY-SA 3.0
About the author
Dan Reis is an Instructional Technologist with Elon University’s Teaching and Learning Technologies.