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How using Twitter in Class affects Students performance and Engagement.

Surprising results of one Study about using Twitter in a large class.

Theories abound that use of Twitter in class helps students be more engaged academically, intellectually and with their peers in and out of class. There has been some studies that show this to be true, meaning that the use of Twitter in class helps in the performance of students due to their increased engagement.

However, other studies show that students that used Twitter in class reported lower levels of academic engagement than those who did not use Twitter in class.

Even among students who used Twitter in class, account was taken of the fact that some students like using Twitter while others did not. As expected, the students who liked using Twitter perceived themselves as being more engaged in class as compared to those who did not like using Twitter. So there is a subjectivity issue here as to whether Twitter helps students be engaged in class in general.

Twitter is a relatively new social media. It was launched in 2006 but has had a major effect worldwide with it being used to disseminate information from the Arab countries recent upheavals known as the “Arab Spring”.

While Twitter was started in the United States, and while its believed that most Twitter users are from North America and Europe, you may be surprised to know that Twitter has its highest penetration per capita internet user in the Brazil, Indonesia and Venezuela.

It is known that increasing student engagement in class helps in their overall performance. So any methods available to increase student engagement, including social media are of great interest. Twitter can provide student-to-student as well as student-to-faculty interaction hence increase student engagement.

By definition, Student Engagement is the amount of time and effort students devote to activities that are linked to the desired outcome of college, e.g. Studying and understanding material taught in class.

Many factors affect students engagement in college. These include Social Economic status, Racial and Ethnic background, Academic preparation and even whether your parents had attended college or not.

While many colleges use social media like Facebook, university websites and Youtube to post materials for students to study in their free time, few have utilized Twitter to that extent.


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