Preservice Teachers’ Participation and Perceptions of Twitter Live Chats as Personal Learning Networks
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This study presents two cases in which undergraduates were introduced to Twitter in their teacher preparation program as a means of developing a personal learning network. Twitter live chats are synchronous discussions that allow education stakeholders to discuss issues and share resources, engaging on potentially a global scale via the social networking platform. This study examines how students participated in these live chats, perceived benefits and challenges and how prior experience and preconceived perceptions of Twitter influenced the live chat experience and intentions for continued participation. Pre-activity reflections, student tweets and post-activity reflections were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. While familiarity with Twitter varied, no participants had previously participated in a professional Twitter live chat; the majority of participants indicated a positive perception and intensions to continue participating in Twitter live chats. Plans for introducing, scaffolding and reflecting on initial Twitter live chat experiences are detailed and considerations and implications are discussed.
KeywordsLive chats Microblogging Personal learning networks Pre-service teachers Social media Social networks Teacher education Twitter
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