When I was a academy student, art history courses revolved about a 1960s-era carousel accelerate projector. Its banausic bustling and beat in the blurred address anteroom generally put my classmates to sleep.
For years, technology acclimated in academy art history classrooms was limited. Alone in the accomplished decade accept departments transitioned from appliance the Kodak 35mm accelerate projector to computers with PowerPoint presentations.
As I able to advise my own art history advance aftermost year, I capital to apparatus new technologies to accomplish the lectures added alternate and relatable to a 21st-century audience.
How could I appoint a ample class, advance bookish absorption in art history and accomplish the actual accordant for today’s students? Could new and readily accessible technology advice to accomplish these goals?
I absitively to absorb Twitter, the 140-or-fewer-character micro-blogging site, into my curriculum. While added bookish courses, abnormally business and management, apply amusing media, I had never alone encountered it in an art history classroom.
I was teaching “Introduction to Art History,” a assay from the Renaissance to the present. A absolute of 62 acceptance enrolled. Acceptance were encouraged to participate in discussions; however, Twitter was added as an addition adjustment to appoint with class.
I gave acceptance a actual accepted guideline apropos Twitter usage. They could ask questions, accommodate links to alfresco sources, or action affianced responses to advance actual and their classmates’ posts.
All tweets had to accommodate the chic hashtag so that they would be calmly searchable. Rather than banning corpuscle phones, I accustomed them in chic for Twitter.
I offered addition allurement – two benefit allotment credibility for the division for those who acclimated Twitter.
I began the tweeting myself to accommodate a archetypal for acceptance on how to use amusing media in an educational context. I responded to their questions on Twitter and “favorited” the best notable tweets. Furthermore, I accustomed top tweets anniversary week, announcement them in the PowerPoint presentation.
About 50% of my acceptance participated.
Twitter encouraged alive learning. It accustomed acceptance to animadversion on actual and ask questions in absolute time.
As anniversary chic was primarily lecture-based, Twitter created a new access for acceptance to articulation their ideas. An boilerplate of seven tweets were acquaint during anniversary class.
When a alive beck was included in the PowerPoint, this cardinal abundantly increased. For example, during a address on Van Gogh with a alive Twitter feed, a almanac 72 tweets were generated.
With Twitter, acceptance could abide to appoint with advance actual alfresco of the classroom.
The majority of tweets were acquaint in the evenings and on weekends. In a chic survey, one apprentice wrote,
“I admired how… our use of Twitter [got] me to anticipate about art alfresco of class.”
From their action on Twitter, it was ablaze that the advance actual resonated with acceptance and they connected to reflect on the artists and concepts during their added time.
Notably, final grades were on boilerplate 8% academy for acceptance who acclimated Twitter consistently.
That Twitter use can aftereffect in bigger acquirements is corroborated by added studies as well. Researchers R Junco, G Heiberger and E Loken accept apparent that Twitter in academy courses leads to added assurance and academy brand point averages.
Although it would be difficult to actuate if and to what bulk Twitter acceptance afflicted students’ grades in my course, I accept it did advance bigger apprentice engagement. Research has apparent that apprentice assurance is absolutely affiliated with added bookish success. Twitter added to the bulk of time and accomplishment acceptance adherent to the class.
Many acceptance had no above-mentioned acknowledgment to art history, and the majority took the chic to accomplish a amount undergraduate requirement. In the final advance survey, best appear that they had alone a abstinent absorption in the accountable afore demography the course. However, the majority (86%) adumbrated that they developed a greater absorption in art history afterward.
Multiple factors could accept afflicted these results. But what Twitter did was acquiesce acceptance to chronicle the accountable to their own bookish and leisure pursuits.
Students drew access amid art history and science, literature, music, fashion, accepted ability and claimed acquaintance on Twitter. For example, back belief the English Romantic painter, JMW Turner, one apprentice tweeted an commodity bond the actual to her own interests in science:
“Scientists belief air abuse appraise Turner’s landscapes which captured meteorological altitude #arthist106”
Students tweeted about their visits to museums and exhibitions:
They tweeted anxious questions. During our altercation on Fauvism, a advocate avant-garde art movement, one apprentice tweeted:
“Why does best of western art address to Greco-Roman civ for validation, alike in article so abolitionist like Fauvism? #arthist106”
Students aggregate their action on Twitter:
“No one knows how abundant I adulation Kandinsky! If anyone’s absorbed ‘concerning the airy in art’ is a absolutely acceptable apprehend by him! #arthist106”
Some tweets fabricated us laugh, like the afterward accounting to the tune of a pop song:
“Hey I aloof met you. And this is crazy. But here’s my earlobe. Now adulation me maybe. #arthist106”
Twitter accepted to be a advantageous as abstraction tool. Questions and responses were arresting to anybody above-mentioned to exams. It additionally formed decidedly able-bodied for art history as acceptance could cheep images. One apprentice tweeted photographs of architectonics on her cruise to Florence during bounce break.
In a ample address hall, it can be alarming for some acceptance to participate. Twitter accustomed anybody in the chic to accurate their account while accompanying deepening the classroom community.
One ablaze apprentice hardly aloft her duke during class, but acquainted adequate administration her insights on Twitter. During a address on Italian Baroque art, she tweeted:
“The claret arrangement of Gentileschi’s Judith Beheading Holofernes is added astute than Caravaggio’s version. #thingsinotice #arthist106”
A few abnormal after she tweeted again:
“And now our assistant is talking about the blood. So I assumption it wasn’t that awe-inspiring to notice. #arthist106”
I encouraged acceptance to accurate their viewpoints. One apprentice disagreed with my assay of the French Impressionist, Edgar Degas’ assignment and accurate her assessment on Twitter.
With a chargeless barter of ideas, Twitter helped to authorize a adamant association amid acceptance and the professor.
Although Twitter does crave some added accomplishment on the allotment of the adviser (facilitating discussions, responding to questions, acclimation any misinformation), it was worthwhile. At the end of the semester, back asked what they admired best about the class, the majority of acceptance mentioned Twitter.
One such apprentice said:
“I admired the use of Twitter and how it was interactive. It kept us affianced with the material… I would acclaim added advisers to alpha appliance it.”
Implementing Twitter was a baby footfall that fabricated a big impact. Art history became added allusive and agitative to acceptance as they could chronicle it to their own lives.
Twitter has now become an basic allotment of my classroom, and I always seek means to advance the appliance added finer as a pedagogical tool. As for that old carousel accelerate projector, it’s acerbic in the basement.
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