Experience of developing Twitter-based communities of practice in higher education

Bex Lewis, David Rush

Abstract

This article presents the results of a case study of the use of a microblogging tool by a university academic to increase their knowledge and experience of social media for educational purposes. The academic had the role of digital steward in a university and attempted to use microblogging (Twitter) to increase professional contacts within the framework of a community of practice. Several types of data were collected and analysed. These included the structure of the network arising from the links formed with others by microblogging, the similarity of stated interests between the academic and others in the network, and the contents of postings such as their external references. It was found that a personal network had been established, with some of the characteristics of a community of practice. The activity demonstrated the utility of social media in supporting the professional development of academic staff using technology.

Keywords: community of practice; technology steward; microblogging; social media; professional network

(Published: 11 June 2013)

Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2013, 21: 18598 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v21i0.18598

Keywords

community of practice; technology steward; microblogging; social media; professional network

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