Twitter for College Students: 7 Tips Plus a Bonus

Twitter is a powerful tool for students and educators, when it’s used appropriately. Here are seven tips, plus one bonus, for college students beginning to use Twitter.

  1. Learn the language of Twitter using the Twitter Lexicon.
  2. Remember that your tweets are viewable by anyone with an Internet connection, unless you’ve protected them. They’re viewable in real time on the public timeline, through Twitter’s search function, and even through a Google search. Keep it clean. Avoid profanity.
  3. Use Twitter for sharing links to websites. If the URL is too long to fit with your message in 140 characters, use a URL-shortening service like TinyURL or POPrl.
  4. When you share a link to a website, let your followers (readers) know what the site is or why they might want to see it. For example, “Hmmm . . . I wonder if there’s any empirical evidence for this? No mattter. It still made me laugh.”
  5. Twitter works on a cell phone, too. You’ll first have to activate your cell phone to work with Twitter. Then, in the US, send a text message to 40404 to have it post to Twitter. You may even want to receive some of your friends/followers’ tweets on your cell phone. Be judicious about this, or you’ll soon be overwhelmed.
  6. Have a link to your blog posts automatically show up in Twitter using Twitterfeed.
  7. If your professors don’t share their cell phone numbers with you (and I usually don’t), you can still reach them quickly by sending a direct tweet to them. The way my phone and Twitter are set up, I receive direct tweets as quickly as text messages. (NOTE: This only works if your professor follows you on Twitter.)

And a bonus: Even though professors don’t ever tell you you should cheat, here’s a great little cheat sheet of Twitter codes, provided by Jason Theodor.

Questions about Twitter? Leave them as a comment below, or follow me on Twitter and send me an @ there!


So What’s Facebook Good For, Anyway?

In this week’s Making Connections: Facebook & Beyond class at Georgia Southern University, we’re discussing – what else – Facebook. As an educator, I know what I use Facebook for:

  • Keeping my Facebook profile updated so my students can learn more about me
  • Learning more about my students media habits, especially regarding music, TV, movies, etc.
  • Discovering where my students are from
  • Playing an occasional game of SmartyPants or Scrabble
  • Chatting with students (and others) when we’re online at the same time
  • Sending out messages to my students when the info must get there quickly (they tend to check Facebook much more often than their university-provided e-mail accounts)
  • NOTE: To respect their privacy, I don’t read their walls or look at their photos, even if I have access to them

Beyond checking to see what their friends are up to, what do today’s college students use Facebook for? Please be specific in your comments, as your comments will help shape this week’s class.

Thanks so much!

College Survival Tips

There are many, many sites that will offer advice on surviving your first year in college. But my favorite (tongue-in-cheek) tips come from the comic geniuses at Ask a Ninja.

Stay tuned for some more practical tips as the semester progresses.

My Freshman Year: 25 Words of Wisdom

Thinking back to your college experience, what do you wish you would have known about your freshman year? What did you do just right? What do you wish you could get a “do-over” on? Topics could include:

  • Studying (or lack thereof)
  • Alcohol consumption (or lack thereof)
  • Reading textbooks
  • Reading syllabi
  • Time management
  • Involvement in campus activities
  • Making friends
  • Using library resources for research
  • Maintaining a personal budget

Using the model created by Liz Strauss at The Successful Blog, share 25 Words of Wisdom for first-year college students in my Making Connections class. Use exactly 25 words, no more, no less. Full sentences are not needed. Here’s a slight adaptation of Liz’s guidelines and a link to her completed project:

  1. Think about your freshman year in college.
  2. Write a sentence about it.
  3. Count the words you have written.
  4. Edit the sentence until you have 25 words exactly. Notice how your idea changes as you edit and how your feelings change with each rewrite.
  5. Post your 25 words as a comment to this blog posting OR on your blog by July 31st.
  6. Link back to this post (from your blog) or leave a link to your post in the comments section. (I don’t want to miss yours when I compile all of them.)

Oh yes, if you have some wonderful thoughts and can’t make it fit into 25 words, that’s okay, too. I’d still like to know what they are. Simply comment below. No worries.


Photo Credit: Photo “seat number 25” originally uploaded to Flickr by Leo Reynolds