Which Tool Can Be Better Utilized To Help Students Prepare For An Exam – Facebook Or Twitter?

February 25, 2010 at 3:05 pm 3 comments

Last week I blogged about creating a Facebook group for my statistics students. The choice of Facebook over Twitter was mostly based on the fact that almost every single student had a Facebook account. I also thought that it would be easier to use in a productive way to help students learn and understand.

Using Facebook To Prepare For An Exam

We have our second exam (probability) coming up next Tuesday, so I posted practice questions on the Facebook group page.

  • Over the weekend the students will start typing their answers as replies, as well as explaining their reasoning.
  • Students will also post questions, and their classmates will help to answer them.
  • As I create Camtasia videos I will post them to the Facebook group page.
  • I will send out advice and tips periodically through wall postings as well as through Facebook messages.

Could I Use Twitter To Do The Same Things?

I feel that students can use my Facebook group page to prepare for their exam. Can Twitter be used as effectively? I’m not sure, let’s take a look issue by issue.

  • Can I “post” practice problems using Twitter?
    Not that I am aware of. I suppose that I could 140 characters (minus hash tags) at a time, but most of my questions are too long.
  • Can students share their answers, as well as reasoning?
    Absolutely. They may have to use more than one Tweet, but it can be done. There is the drawback that they will all need a Twitter account, which very few of my community college students do.
  • Can students post questions and ask their classmates for help?
    Absolutely, as long as we use a common hash tag. Again, we would need to have all of the students open Twitter accounts.
  • Can I post Camtasia videos?
    Sure, I can post the video on Youtube and Tweet the address to my students.
  • Can I send out advice and tips to my students?
    This is one of Twitter’s strengths. My students don’t have to have an account, but instead just visit my Twitter page.

 So, Help Me Out

I’m asking for your help. I could use some pointers on how I can incorporate Twitter into my math classes in an effective manner. I love Twitter – I have learned so much in such a short time.. I love #edtech & #edchat. I’d really like to incorporate it into my classes.

Please leave your suggestions as comments, or send them to me via the contact page on my website. I’d also like to take your pulse concerning which tool can effectively be incorporated into a math class, so please vote in this poll.

-George

I am a mathematics instructor at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA. I have decided to add technology related articles to my Thursday blog lineup. Let me know if there are other topics you’d like me to cover. You can reach me through the contact page on my website.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. alicia  |  March 2, 2010 at 6:34 am

    The other nice thing about twitter is that students can sign up to get your twitter feed in Google Reader, or your posts sent as txts to their phone. It’s flexible in that regard, and you could share problems and students can share solutions by putting them online (maybe on screencast?) and linking to them.

    Do students find a facebook connection to you obtrusive? For me, FB is a weird world where my personal and professional lives can mix and I’m never quite sure how I want to use the platform. Maybe that’s less of a concern for your students?

    Reply
    • 2. georgewoodbury  |  March 2, 2010 at 9:47 am

      Thanks for the comment Alicia.
      I’m still new with Twitter, so I will look into the Tweet to texts option. I’ve learned that getting info to students is definitely doable.

      As far as Facebook, I shut down my profile to “friends only” so that my students cannot see my profile. (I’m not comfortable breaking down that wall with my students, and I let them know not to send me friend requests.) I imagine that I could create a second account that was for classes only.

      Reply
      • 3. alicia  |  March 2, 2010 at 7:21 pm

        Ah, yes.. I forget about the different security levels in Facebook. I need to set that up better!

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