I’ve been using Twitter myself since the spring and have found it to be a valuable resource for finding information, research, and sources related to the technology and learning beat. It seems to me that many of the educators and ed-tech specialists I follow on Twitter use it with great skill for professional development and touching base with like-minded educators near and far.
Many have found Twitter so valuable, in fact, that they are starting to see relevant applications for their students, as I point out in this EdWeek piece.
While there is some anecdotal evidence from enthusiastic teachers and other advocates of social networking, however, there is scant research on whether it effectively promotes learning. The effect of Twitter-like communications—which generally call for short, rapid responses—on students’ ability to consume, analyze, and comprehend material, is essentially unknown.
There are some interesting perspectives on a related topic on this blog discussion on The New York Times Web site today. The story asks the questions:
Is there a difference in the way the brain takes in or absorbs information when it is presented electronically versus on paper? Does the reading experience change, from retention to comprehension, depending on the medium?
Experts weighing in include an English professor, an author, a professor of child development, a computer scientist, and a professor of informatics.
What’s your view?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.