Magazine article University Business

Higher Ed: A-Twitter or Not?

Magazine article University Business

Higher Ed: A-Twitter or Not?

Article excerpt

SINCE MANY HIGHER ED EARLY adopters of Twitter work in marketing and alumni relations, there's been little focus on how professors are using it. Faculty Focus, publisher of an e-mail newsletter, surveyed nearly 2,000 professors (almost one-fourth of whom are academic leaders such as deans and provosts) this summer to find out. Nearly a third (30.7 percent) use Twitter in some capacity, with about one in five "very" or "extremely familiar" with the microblogging tool, according to the survey's report.

How do these professionals use Twitter? Some say it helps them stay current on news and trends and lets them network with colleagues. Others use it to follow conferences they can't attend in person. One instructor is using it to post extra credit assignments (and has seen a 50 percent increase in students taking advantage of them). Another responds to e-mailed student questions via Twitter, since others may have the same question. A third respondent planned to make Twitter a part of the curriculum this fall for communication and writing instruction. …

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