Moodle 2: Embedding twitter(social media) into your module

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What are the benefits of using social media for students?

Embedding social media into modules can make your students want to:

  • engage with your module much more
  • be able to easily network with their peers and personal tutor
  • be more receptive to receiving new types of information

Why is it important to have social media integration?

Edudemic advises that students are privy to information that transcends books and assignments. They are moving into a world where professional networks are much more significant. This is why social networks are much more important then they ever have been before. There is therefore an advantage to be had if you have embedded social media of some sort into your moodle module. Of course it may be worthwhile looking at which tool might be more effective.

Where is the pedagogical evidence that social media benefits students to be more self-directed?

In a recent french masters course, a collaborative learning environment and an online practice community were established and students were invited to use them to discuss pedagogical issues related to eLearning practice using the social networking tool Ning. The aim of the three-year experiment was to place students at the core of the learning process and enable them to experience and reflect upon collaborative online learning while engaged in specific practical projects.However at the end of the third year, students clearly expected more from a social network being used as a tool for learning. As a result, instead of requesting students to initiate and moderate individual discussion threads, the group of 21 students was divided into 5 sub-groups of 4/5, and ‘imposed’ projects (the contents of which the authors hoped would act as ‘social learning object’ stimulation were issued to each group over a 2-month period, accompanied with support information and web links. A precise time schedule including 5 deadlines per sub-group was indicated and appropriate alerts were activated before each deadline. This project reveals that the extended use of social media provided a students with immediate opportunities to take responsibility of their own learning.

Social media provides powerful tools for faculty to use for engaging, teaching, and fostering learning in higher education classrooms (Junco, Heibergert, & Loken, 2010; Moody, 2010). To find more on the research on social media, there is an interesting blog that provides a more thorough literature review. Please go to this link.
How do I embed social media into my Moodle module?
Each platform may have its own processes.
Twitter can be one of the more popular platforms that have been used as a social platform at City. To embed twitter into your moodle module you must first develop a twitter widget which you can do directly from twitter’s very own site. Once you have created your twitter widget you then copy the code. Open your moodle module and once you have editing turned on, you can insert a ‘html block’ which can then be inputted with the html code. For help, contact your local ed. tech teams near you.
References
Junco, R., Heiberger, G., & Loken, E. (2011). The effect of Twitter on college student engagement and grades. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 27(2), 119-132. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2729.2010.00387.x
Moody, M. (2010). Teaching Twitter and beyond: tips for incorporating social media in traditional courses. Journal of Magazine & New Media Research, 11(2), 1-9.
Panckhurst R., Montpellier P V (2011), “Is Social Networking Pedagogically Sustainable? Puting Social Learning Objects into Action. [available online] [accessed on 18.09.13] http://www.guninetwork.org/resources/good-practices/good-practices-listing/is-social-networking-pedagogically-sustainable-putting-social-learning-objects-into-action
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