In the wake of DePaul University’s announcement about its forthcoming journalism class focused on Twitter, John Cook at TechFlash has written about the University of Washington’s graduate-level summer course focused on Twitter.
DePaul University’s College of Communications got national press attention this week when it announced plans to offer a college journalism course on Twitter, with the The Wall Street Journal reporting that the class is being touted as the first of its kind. DePaul’s press release also made the claim of being first. But University of Washington communications professor Kathy Gill says not so fast.
As John notes in his post, the true pioneer here — whether we are talking about Twitter in the classroom or Twitter in journalism classes — is Howard Rheingold. Howard integrated Twitter into his Winter 2008 journalism class at Stanford. It was this class that inspired me to fully integrate Twitter into my Spring 2009 Digital Journalism class. That class, in turn, inspired our summer offering in the UW Master of Communication in Digital Media program.
I’m heartened that an institution many think of as hidebound and slow to change — “the Academy” — is embracing the real-time Web. Of course, an institution is the sum of many individuals working together, and there have always been individuals acting as change agents in universities (as well as other less-than-nimble organizations).
A quick search of Twitter + syllabus leads to these other classes and demonstrates the fact that innovation does not happen in isolation:
- Assignment, UT-Dallas, November 2007
- Digital Journalism, Stanford, Winter 2008
- Social networking in Intermediate Italian I, Fall 2008
- English 361, Duke, Winter 2009
- Assignment, UW Digital Journalism, February 2009
- Assignment, UW COM301, February 2009
- Digital Archiving, Hope Charter School, Spring 2009
- Digital Journalism, UW, Spring 2009
- English 102, University of Wisconsin-Stout, Spring 2009
- Intro to Psychology, UC-Santa Barbara, Spring 2009 (pdf)
- Using Etherpad and Twitter to Teach and Learn Foreign/Second Languages, Purdue, April 2009
- DePaul “Twitter Class” Syllabus (via Gawker), September 2009
In addition, there are lots of suggestions on how to incorporate Twitter into the classroom:
- 10 Tips to Use Twitter in the EFL Class, ESL Daily
- 25 Twitter Projects for the Classroom, Online Colleges
- 50 Ways to Use Twitter in the College Classroom, Online Colleges
- Learn English on Twitter, About.com
- Twitter as language-learning tool, Teaching and Learning Spanish
- Twitter for Academia, AcademHack
Neither of these lists is exhaustive. Hopefully the community will add to it via comments.