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Studying Twitter as a Teaching Tool

Teachers are stretching Twitter's reach beyond just 140 character quips, according to a new study by researchers in the College of Computing & Informatics at Drexel.

The study suggests that teachers are reimagining Twitter from its common perception as a social medium for sharing personal information and observations into a conduit for disseminating educational resources and connecting with distant colleagues.

The research notes that while 80 percent of all Twitter users are "reformers" — people who include personal information and status updates in their tweets — only 2.5 percent of teachers' tweets contain personal information. By contrast, educators tend to use Twitter to connect with distant colleagues, sharing and discovering new ideas and teaching resources, according to the study.

Andrea Forte, assistant professor in the College of Computing & Informatics, undergraduate Melissa Humphreys, and PhD student Thomas Park conducted the research using data collected from a Web-based survey, telephone interviews and content analysis of 2,000 tweets from teachers and education-related hashtags.

Read the rest of this story at Exel Magazine's website.