#appventcityunilead – an experiment before Christmas


Inspired by the various 12 Apps for Christmas twitter initatives from other universities, where an app is posted on a blog post every day, I decided to try and engage with our twitter followers and the wider higher education community before Christmas, using the hashtag #appventcityunilead (appvent a play on the word advent, but with no chocolate involved), tweeting an app a day.

I used the twitter scheduler Twuffer.com and scheduled daily tweets at 12 noon in the run up to Christmas.


Why did I do this?

This was a way to engage our followers with something less serious before Christmas and as an experiment with a twitter scheduler. The initial tweet, below, made an impression on 2,199 people’s account. It was retweeted 9 times and liked 6 times. The Association for Learning Technology also picked up the tweets via #altc, as this was in every tweet.

Below are all of the tweets I scheduled before Christmas Day for those of you who’d like to look at the recommended apps in further detail or in case you missed them back in December.

Trello #appventcityunilead Use for your teaching planning https://trello.com/platforms #altc
ShowMe #appventcityunilead Show your students things using this whiteboard app http://www.showme.com/ #altc
Nearpod #appventcityunilead Interactive lessons, real time assessment on any device https://www.nearpod.com/ #altc
Skype #appventcityunilead Call, share, message, collaborate with your students on any device http://www.skype.com/en/ #altc
TED #appventcityunilead Use great talks in your teaching https://www.ted.com/about/programs-initiatives/ted-talks/ways-to-get-ted-talks #altc
PollEv app Vote in Class with your mobile – free for a class of upto 50! https://www.polleverywhere.com/ #appventcityunilead #altc
Padlet A wall for your collaboration? Try this app out. Padlet.https://padlet.com/ #appventcityunilead #altc
Canva Great for posters and lots more! Canva https://www.canva.com/ #appventcityunilead #altc Pls RT
Stackables Image editing on your mobile device? Try Stakeables http://stackablesapp.businesscatalyst.com/ #altc Pls RT #appventcityunilead
Lucidchart Create charts easily with Lucidchart. https://www.lucidchart.com/ #altc Pls RT #appventcityunilead
Adobe Comp CC Plan layout, really fast, great for students in projects http://www.adobe.com/uk/products/comp.html #altc Pls RT #appventcityunilead
Paper Drawing and sketching app, add photos and text https://www.fiftythree.com/ #altc Pls RT #appventcityunilead
Skitch Get your point across to students better. Try Skitch.https://evernote.com/skitch/ #alc Pls RT #appventcityunilead
123D Catch Create 3D Models from photos, great for #STEM subjects http://www.123dapp.com/catch #alc Pls RT #appventcityunilead
This week’s #appventcityunilead apps will be a mixture of creation and reading apps #altc Pls RT
Aurasma Create Augmented reality via this app, useful to bring things to life. https://www.aurasma.com/ #altc Pls RT #appventcityunilead
Adobe Voice Adobe Voice Turn stories into animated video quickly. https://standout.adobe.com/voice/ #altc Pls RT #appventcityunilead
3D Brain Great for neuroscience and health studies 3D Brain http://www.g2conline.org/ #altc Pls RT #appventcityunilead
blinkist Book summaries – 1 free a day https://www.blinkist.com/en/ #altc Pls RT #appventcityunilead
iTunes U Some excellent free University materials for your students http://www.apple.com/uk/support/ios/itunes-u/ #altc Pls RT #appventcityunilead
BrowZine Academic Journals in a beautiful format http://thirdiron.com/ #altc Pls RT #appventcityunilead
Google Apps Google Apps for Education https://www.google.com/edu/products/productivity-tools/ #productivity #altc Pls RT #appventcityunilead
This week’s #appventcityunilead apps will be about #productivity #altc Pls RT
Quizlet Create your own study materials or browse others Quizlet https://quizlet.com/mobile #altc Pls RT #appventcityunilead
Evernote Every note you every make, in one place. https://evernote.com/ #altc Pls RT #appventcityunilead
Pocket Save and read later, on any device https://getpocket.com/a/ #altc Pls RT #appventcityunilead
Todoist A free online to do list with apps for devices https://en.todoist.com/ #altc Pls RT #appventcityunilead
Hoped you enjoyed #appventcityunilead from @cityunilead, please reply back and share your experiences, we’d love to hear from you 🙂
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from @cityunilead, we look forward to working with @cityunilondon staff in 2016 🙂
Happy New Year from @cityunilead, we look forward to working with you this year!

Further Ideas

Having scheduled these tweets, I thought of other topics in the run up to Christmas that might be useful for your audience. They could be 24 case studies, 24 ideas for group work or educational development, already in your resources area that you can re-purpose in this way. By using the run up to Christmas in this way, can engage your internal and external audiences before Christmas, in a way that’s low effort for you.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

10 Responses

  1. Dominic Pates

    February 24, 2016 11:52 am

    Thanks Santanu – this was an interesting experiment and it clearly led to heightened activity around the Twitter account.

    What would you say the benefits of scheduling tweets were? What criteria did you apply when choosing these particular apps?

  2. Santanu Vasant

    February 24, 2016 11:56 am

    The benefits of scheduling the tweets was not having to remain to post at particular time and creating a regular pattern for followers to get used to in those 24 days before Christmas. The criteria for choosing apps, which I should have mentioned in my article, was that they were easy to use, were free to download and many had applications in most disciplines.

    • Dominic Pates

      February 24, 2016 12:00 pm


      Useful selection criteria. Were all the apps available on the main mobile platforms (iOS and Android), or were any of them platform-specific?

      Looking forward to more uses of scheduled tweeting 🙂

      • Rachael-Anne Knight

        February 25, 2016 3:19 pm

        I’ve used scheduled tweeting to good effect when running Twitter chats before, especially the ones where you have to release a question every 12 minutes during an hour. Almost impossible to do that manually and keep an eye on the responses coming in. I also use it sometimes if I want to tweet something when I’m on the train in the morning, but know I’ll get more engagement if it’s sent out at 8 or 9am rather than 6am!

        • Dominic Pates

          February 25, 2016 3:59 pm

          Some great uses of scheduled tweeting! Certainly appreciate the train point 😉

          I attended a conference presentation last month that made really good use of it. As new slides/topics were introduced, a related tweet with additional resources or further comment was released and appeared in the main event hashtag stream.

          Naturally the timing was not 100% exact, but it was close enough to be really effective and to create much wider engagement with the presenter’s subject than just having one eye on the general backchannel. Clearly the presenter has put quite a bit of planning and practice into their presentation, but it paid off.

        • Santanu Vasant

          February 25, 2016 9:20 pm

          Rachael-Anne, those are good tip about the tweet chats and tweeting at a more engaging time. There lots of things written by the latter.

  3. Santanu Vasant

    February 24, 2016 12:04 pm

    Many are available on the major iOS, Android and Windows Store platforms, but not all. An important consideration to make when recommending apps. Yes, there will be more scheduling of tweets!

  4. Rachael-Anne Knight

    February 25, 2016 3:20 pm

    Santanu this is great and I feel rather bad to have missed it in December. Excellent idea, and I hope you will consider it for this year too.

    • Santanu Vasant

      February 25, 2016 9:24 pm

      Thanks Rachael-Anne, this post is for people who missed them in December. I hope to run something similar next year. It needs upfront planning then it runs itself.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *