Enhancing learning with the social media: student teachers’ perceptions on Twitter in a debate activity

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Tur, Gemma
Marín, Victoria I.Marín, Victoria I. - ORCID ID
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cc-by-nc-nd (c) Gemma Tur, Victoria I. Marín, 2015
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This paper presents research focused on the educational experience of students using the microblogging platform Twitter for debate activities in three groups in different teacher education programmes at the University of the Balearic Islands, Spain. The implementation of this technology-based task in a face-to-face class was introduced as an innovative experience as a way of enhancing student learning and fostering participation in the context of formal learning. The educational objectives of these activities, besides working on the topics of the debate, were to empower student teachers’ Personal Learning Environments, engage student participation and enhance their use of social media and mobile devices for learning. Student perceptions were assessed by means of a questionnaire completed by them at the end of the courses. Tweets related to the debate were also collected in order to obtain some statistical data on student participation. Data collected allowed the researchers to observe student teacher engagement with the use of Twitter for the debate activity and its impact on their learning and understanding of the debate topic. Results also showed positive perceptions towards the use of social media in education and students’ willingness for future use, learning opportunities from Twitter and the use of mobile technology were also envisioned. Finally, conclusions argue the implications for practice of the current study and highlight some issues for further research, such as the exploration of new and innovative uses for teachers’ professional development and the empowerment of new activities and habits in learning on the move.
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Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research, 2015, vol. 4, núm. 1, p. 46-53