PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Professors: Put a Hashtag on Education

We’ve all heard the phrase “you learn something new everyday,” but I am convinced that Twitter users learn something new every time they hit refresh. So why, then, does the concept of Twitter remain largely ignored when it comes to academia?

According to a study done by Edudemic, only 18 percent of professors have a Twitter account. Of that, just 2 percent use Twitter to communicate with their students. This number is astoundingly low given the worldwide explosion of Twitter during the past few years and the prevalence it has in the everyday lives of many students.

Senior lecturer and Penn State legend Sam Richards (@iunlearn) is one of just a handful of Penn State professors who actively use Twitter, and looking at the way Twitter use is encouraged in his SOC 119 class is a perfect example of how I feel many classes could benefit from it.

Sam encourages his students to tweet during class using the hashtag “#Soc119,” which keeps all comments about the class readily available to view for both professor and student.

“The SOC 119 hashtag gives people a way to comment during class,” Richards said. “It’s for fun and it encourages debate. I respond sometimes to people, I’ve challenged a few people on a couple things.”

Richards also enjoys when his sometimes off-the-wall comments are tweeted by his students.

“It’s always fun when somebody responds like ‘Bro, what’s going on in your class? Did you really say that?’ ” he said proudly.

It is this type of instant communication and feedback that is present in almost every other aspect of our lives, yet it remains largely untapped when it comes to classes. Richards explained how he believes a reason for this could be that “a lot of professors feel like there is a wall between students and professors, and professors like to keep that wall in place, but it also exists from the part of students.”

While the Edudemic study found that 61 percent of educators have a Facebook account, 12 percent of whom use it to communicate with their students, Facebook seems to be a little too personal when it comes to professor-student interaction.

As a student, I think that professors are missing a fantastic opportunity to establish a connection with their students similar to the one that Sam has created through Twitter. While most professors make themselves very accessible through e-mail and office hours, the free-flowing, quick-hitting nature of Twitter is perfect for communicating important information and facilitating a simple question-answer conversation. And it is less personal than Facebook, so students don’t feel like their professors are creeping on their social lives, too.

Listen up, Penn State faculty. Your students are all on Twitter. This is how we communicate, debate, share information, and learn. Come teach (or tweet) us!

What do you think? Do any of your professors encourage Twitter, and does it enhance the class for you? Why aren’t more professors using Twitter to engage with and inform their students? Which of your professors are on Twitter? Comment below!

About the Author

John Tecce

John is a senior in the Smeal College of Business majoring in Marketing. He currently serves as the President of the Paternoville Coordination Committee and as a THON Chair for Nittany Nation. He tweets a lot.

Comments

More by John

Nine Things You Don’t Know About The Lionettes

You see them break it down at Beaver Stadium or the BJC. You watch their hair flips and line kicks in awe. Now, get to know your Penn State Lionettes as they rapidly approach their biggest (and only) competition of the year.

2012 White Out T-Shirt Design Review

Senioritis: My Five Biggest Regrets (That I’m Willing To Write About)

Athletics

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Ally McHugh Wins 400 Medley National Championship

Student Life

Nike Releases New Penn State Sneakers

This year’s sneaker is available to purchase online for $109.99.

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

Girirajan Lab Seeks To Bridge The Gap Between Fly And Human Genomes

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Fall Move-In Traffic & Construction Changes

When 40,000 students need to move back to State College over the course of four days or so, things are bound to get crazy.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Assessing Penn State’s Front Seven Following Tuesday’s Medical Retirements

Penn State’s defensive line rotation will be shaken up following Ryan Buchholz’s medical retirement from football, while the coaching staff is letting the linebackers duel it out during camp.

Send this to a friend