I took a look at faculty persistence as it leads to modeling of expected tweeting behavior. By looking at the correlation of faculty tweets to student tweets, it can be easy to draw the conclusion that if the instructor continues to participate in the twitter activities then the students will as well.
However, my co-researcher (@AuroraReinke) and I have looked a bit deeper into these assumed correlations. There is additional evidence that the quality of the tweets also play a role in encouraging students to continue tweeting. For example, if the only time an instructor tweets is to remind students that homework is due, there will not be continued quality participation on the students’ part. In an examination of these classes with these sorts of tweets, the student participation was low, and only served an an outlet for similar style tweets that would not add quality content to the course or incite outside conversations or engagement.
Interestingly, at the #BbWorld13 Clay Shirky (@cshirky) gave a keynote address about the phenomenon of using social media in unintended ways. He encouraged this, stating that there are no “silly” uses of a tool, and this leads to serious uses (academic uses in my world). His keynote (and his latest book Cognitive Surplus) addressed the fact that our society today seeks out ways to collaborate and contribute to the ever expanding creative body of knowledge.
So, the big takeaway needs to be “keep on tweetin'”! You might find something interesting that piques your curiosity, and you may just make some interesting connections and discoveries!