Twitter in the Classroom – 3 Moderation Options
In June, we covered a UT teacher who got some major geek cred for using Twitter in her class. We even interviewed Professor Rankin.
But all I kept thinking is, what happens when people start playing the penis game on Twitter? You can’t expect a lot of maturity out of us college students (and I think that’s a good thing). But even if you’ve got a totally mature class — what happens when a vocal few control the discussion? These are just a few disadvantages of projecting hundreds of unmoderated tweets on a big screen behind a lecture or during a student’s presentation. Luckily, there are a few services out there that help keep it clean and controlled. Here’s a rundown:
Paratweet is designed for conferences and panels but that still makes it a pretty solid option for teachers. A TA can just click “yes” or “no” next to a live stream of tweets and the good ones will be instantly published to a bold, easy-to-read display. That’s full control.
Unfortunately, Paratweet isn’t free. It’s $80 per month — which isn’t bad for a university. It’ll just be hard to find an administrator tech-savvy enough to buy a subscription for the whole college. For $140 per month, a school could use Paratweet during up to three simultaneous classes.
Plenty of college students roll their eyes at the word “Twitter”. That’s why Wiffiti is great. It has tons of functionality beyond just Tweets — it’ll include Flickr images and text messages as well.
It’s greatest virtue in the classroom is auto-moderation, which won’t require an additional hand or a TA. There are three levels: rated G, rated R and all messages.
Twubs is a whole start-up based around the idea of a hashtag — so they offer a lot more in their Conference Suite than a classroom would need. But their moderation strategy is a little different, so it’s worth exploring. It’s more like live TV. The user can set a time-delay for live tweets that gives a short window to remove undesirable content. Since every single tweet needn’t be individually approved, a lecturing professor could just keep that eye in the back of their head on the moderation screen while simultaneously lecturing.
The Twubs stuff is still in beta, which makes it free, but you’ll have to contact them in advance to get it rolling.