Social networking tools are becoming used by higher education as a learning tool for students to collaborate. Today, I was able to attend a presentation by Ruben Zamora and Christopher Jazinski. They spoke of many ways to utilize social networking tool as a means to enrich student experience. One example they gave was a synchronous session that was occurring on Adobe Connect. They utilized the Twitter follower base to find anyone interested in participating as experts on the subject matter. The Tweet simply said “Those of you interested in participating as experts in _____, please go to “url for Adobe Connect” at 6pm Eastern time, They had hoped to receive five people who volunteered for this roundtable discussion, but actually received ten who responded. These people that responded were known experts in their fields. The conversations that generated between students and the experts were rich and engaging. The presenters were amazed at the response that this particular request received and the result of the interaction. In their course evaluations, the students expressed the great opportunities to engage in conversations with these people in the industry. As we have the tools at our fingertips, it’s great to see more and more institutions finding creative ways to integrate social networking tools in their classrooms. It is also important to note that access to the experts wouldn’t have occurred if it weren’t for the established group of followers that existed in Twitter.
We should keep this in mind as we continue to find uses for Twitter. As we develop our follower/following base, this is one idea that will allow us to leverage the power of connecting to experts in our field.