Twittering in teacher education: reflecting on practicum experiences
Wright, N. (2010). Twittering in teacher education: reflecting on practicum experiences. Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning, 25(3), 259-265.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/4798
Microblogging as a form of expression has gained momentum recently: a widely popular version is Twitter, which began by asking 'What are you doing?' While posts responding to this question were often inane and ephemeral, microblogging can still be harnessed for research purposes. This paper reports on a case study with eight participants during a teaching practicum, posting to Twitter from their phones or computers, examining the question 'Does microblogging help teacher education students develop self-reflective practices?' Participants later met as a focus group on campus to discuss their Twitter/phone experiences. Methodologically, the analysis extracted themes (thematic content analysis) from the tweets, examining them in relation to both the research question and the subsequent focus group feedback. Tweet categories included: pedagogy, complexity, emotions, curriculum/planning, relationships and other. An identified benefit was a sense of community. Participants appreciated reading others' tweets and receiving messages of support when they faced challenging situations. And while 140 characters were initially difficult and limiting for explaining ideas, it honed participants' reflective thinking. This was highly valued in the very individual experience of teaching practicum.
- Education Papers