Why shy students are turning to Twitter

Raising hands is so old-fashioned. A new study suggest that some students feel more comfortable asking questions using Twitter.

 

Jordan Valinsky

Internet Culture

Published Jan 17, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 10:36 pm CDT

Students in classrooms who might be too nervous to talk are finding an alternative outlet: Twitter.

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A new study, conducted by Southern Cross University in Australia, has found some students are more comfortable in tweeting questions to their teachers rather than raising their hand. The report suggests that quieter students are thus becoming more engaged in classroom discussions.

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Participants in the study would send tweets to the teacher to ask for questions or a deeper explanation for the subject at hand, and the teacher would read them off his or her computer.

“Hopefully it would lead to fewer passengers in the classroom and allow those students who are less likely to engage with teachers, for social or cultural reasons, to participate,” a researcher told Daily Telegraph.  

International students, who might be afraid to speak out loud, responded particularly well to the study. But researchers said a drawback to this new way of participating could be students who say they are tweeting but are instead texting.  

Although tweeting at teachers won’t replace the anxiety of hand-raising, researchers said it could be another technique in their toolbox to engage otherwise shy students.

Photo by whiskeygonebad

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*First Published: Jan 17, 2012, 1:39 pm CST