Scholars Using Social Media

Scholars Using Social Media October 15, 2017

Larry HurtadoDeane GalbraithScot McKnight, and Bob Cornwall are among those who’ve already mentioned a new book that many more contributed to, including myself: Thomas Jay Oord’s edited volume, Theologians and Philosophers Using Social Media: Advice, Tips, and Testimonials. I haven’t had the time to really explore the other contributions to the volume yet, and so I thought I’d post this notice about the book, and encourage others to explore it and share their thoughts about it, while also planning to say more about it on a future occasion.

Of closely related interest, Jonathan Bernier shared this assignment on Facebook:

My way of building upon students’ familiarity with Twitter:

“Term Paper Preparation
Students will be asked to submit four short assignments that constitute preparation for the term paper, worth 2.5% each. Each one should be no more than 140 characters.

Assignment One (due Oct. 7): What is the topic of your paper?
Assignment Two (due Oct. 21): What question are you asking about that topic?
Assignment Three (due Nov. 4): What answer are you giving to your question about the topic?
Assignment Four (due Nov. 18): What difference does the answer that you are giving to your question make for understanding the topic?

Note that when completed, this will constitute an initial draft of your first paragraph.”

I asked for permission to share this, since it is a brilliant idea, helping students to learn about Twitter, as well as learning to pare away everything but the essence of what they want to say. Of course, the increase in the character limit on Twitter could throw a spanner in the works.

Have you used Twitter – or its character limit taken on its own – to impose a need for conciseness on students?

Of related interest, see this infographic about professors’ technology use and student engagement (or lack thereof), as well as a recent blog post about what counts in academia.


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  • Ken Schenck

    I once did participation for a philosophy class by Twitter and a Facebook group. Three tweets relating to the content of the class = full participation.

  • Jodie Jones

    I used Twitter back in undergrad. However, due to the amount of emotional vomiting and subtweets, I decided to delete the app. This article made me mindful of who I decide to follow and conscious of how Twitter’s character count can help me get to the root of what I want to communicate.