Twitter during Lectures

twitter lectures

Lectures have become out of favor with medical students or should I say educationalists. They haven’t completely disappeared but giving a lecture to medical students is often an unsettling endeavor. During the lecture to at least 400 med students their is hardly any interaction. One lecture hall is crowded with 300 med students, the other 100 watch your lecture on screens in the adjourning lecture room. Posing questions to them, such a large audience hardly gets any reactions.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to use twitter during lectures. Have a twitter break to have a look at the remarks and questions half way your lecture and nearly at the end of the lecture, wouldn’t that improve understanding and possibly also interaction? I got this idea from proceedings from the EduMedia conference held in Salzburg.

The proceedings (pdf download) start by explaining microblogging and a discussion: Can Twitter help to improve interactions among learners, and enhance their learning experiences?

In their proceedings they offered ways in how attendees and organizers of conferences can use twitter.

  • Before a conference twitter can be used to announce events, workshops and keynote presentations
  • Before a conference twitter can be used to remind attendees to register or to bring specific items
  • Twitter can be used by the attendees to organize their trip and share information about accommodations
  • During the conference twitter can be used to keep the attendees updated of last minute changes, organizational hints and to engage attendees to upload pictures, links to related blog entries
  • Attendees can use twitter to write personal notes for other or themselfs, discuss topics with other attendees or ask questions about presentations
  • With a specific hashtag for a presentation you can use twitter breaks to respond to questions
  • After the conference organizers often use Twitter after the conference to thank attendees for their presence, post reflections and interesting statistics or they gather feedback and ideas for the next conference and spread the wordabout upcoming dates
  • Attendees of the conference use Twitter to post links to their blogs, where they published longer and deeper reflections about the conference. The community of interest shares links to other interesting meetings and conferences and often stays in touch using the hashtags from the conference

The researchers developed an anonomous survey that could be used online in several different conferences.

The survey was divided into three different sections and comprised multiple choice, matrix, lickert scale and open-ended questions, which enabled the researchers to survey about respondents’ gender and age, their use of Twitter before, during and after the conference, and also about what they liked and disliked microblogging. It was also asked why they used Twitter and what were, in their opinion and experience, the advantages and disadvantages of using Twitter in conferences. In Total, the survey consisted of 34 questions.

Microblogging at conferences seems to be an additional way of discussing presented topics and exchanging additional information. Their research shows that several conference speakers and attendees are using Twitter for various purposes. Communicating and sharing resources seem to be one of the most interesting and relevant ways in which one microblogs. Content attached to tweets was reported to be mostly limited to plain text and web links.

I couldn’t find technical details about using twitter during lectures with twitter pauses. You will probably need a stand alone version with a hashtag, but students should need a way to be online during lecture, anyone experience with this, especially the technical part?

Thanks Speaking about Presenting

Related posts on this blog:

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Twitter, Doctors, Hospitals and Medical Education

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Twitter and Medical Education