Great Expectations: Twitter for the Scholar’s Toolbox

by | March 11, 2011

Twitter is a tool learners want to include in the “scholar’s toolbox.” The skillful use of Twitter increases networking with other scholars and helps develop writing skills.

Social networking tools like Facebook are excellent to use to connect with friends, family, and others who share similar interests. In fact, people who use Facebook follow pages or groups that engage in dialogue about topics specific to their academic interests. Users can update friends with unlimited words to inform them about the unlimited events in their life. But Twitter restricts users to 140 characters to communicate their thoughts and network with others. How can learners use Twitter as a tool?

First, learners can use it to connect with scholars and others in their academic field. Twitter includes people who are scholars in education, psychology, business, criminal justice and much more. Learners can review user biographies and websites to help them decide whether to follow a user. This option allows learners to be specialized in whom to follow and to create lists of their specialized interests for users. In addition, learners can enter chats with users within their field. Oftentimes this can lead to a prodigious amount of followers who share an affinity for their interests. Following and engaging others on Twitter may create networks and opportunities beyond one’s greatest expectations.

Second, learners can use it to improve their writing skills. Twitter‘s character restriction forces them to be clear and concise in their writing. If learners want to become more skillful at composing sentences with robust verbs, Twitter will help them select verbs that arrest users’ attention (140 characters to make a point). Likewise, it will help them overhaul passive sentence constructions. Learns will want to use strong subjects that act on those verbs to reach their followers. Essentially, it will help learners generate powerful sentences that will permeate follows with their thoughts. In fact, learns will begin to see a difference in their academic writing if they carefully employ this tool. When learners include Twitter in their scholar’s tool box, they will connect, contribute, and communicate with others.

How can you use social media to network and to communicate within your academic field?