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Students not so keen on Twitter in the classroom

Checking up on our social media pages can be a daily, routine activity, just as brushing our teeth or eating breakfast might be.

Some of us may start our day by checking our Facebook pages as soon as we wake up on our smartphones, then end the day with one final tweet on Twitter before turning off the lights.

This type of social media activity hasn't translated to classroom learning yet though, with CQ University's Dr Michael Cowling saying that his research indicates that less than 20 per cent of students agree that Twitter should be part of the classroom.

"Technology in the culture doesn't necessarily lead to technology in the classroom," he said in a press release issued November 26.

Dr Cowling said that technology is becoming a 'central part of our lives', where he said according to a Time magazine annual mobility survey, 62 per cent of people check their iPhone at least once an hour, with almost 70 per cent of people sleeping with their phone next to the bed.

Tweet the Teacher: Using Twitter as a Mechanism to Increase Classroom Engagement is the name of the paper from Dr Cowling, co-authored with Southern Cross University's Jeremy Novak.

Dr Cowling also added: "An increasingly digital classroom is an important consideration for unis if they wish to survive past 2025."

In a survey among students, only 18.6 per cent indicated that they had a Twitter account, despite the 'high-uptake' of social networking amongst this group.

"This challenges the assumption that Twitter was common amongst digital natives and further investigation would need to be undertaken to determine if this was a significant driver of the results," he said.

"In particular, it would be interesting to investigate whether the need to adopt a new social networking technology is a significant barrier of entry for digital native students to use social networking to engage in the classroom."

Posted by April Revake.