Wikipedia explains that Micro-blogging is a form of blogging that allows users to write brief text updates (usually less than 200 characters) and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group which can be chosen by the user. These messages can be submitted by a variety of means, including text messaging, instant messaging, email, MP3 or the web.
You need time to blog but having to write something in only 200 characters is wonderful if you lack time. My baby and my daughter are very demanding and microblogging allows me to be in touch with educators that share my same passion. Claudia Ceraso told me about Twitter in a face to face meeting we had in a Chinese restaurant called Todos Contentos in Buenos Aires. At the beginning I didn´t understand what it was all about but I can assure you that I learnt more in 2 months with Twitter than in many conferences.
There are many microblogging tools and if you can´t decide among Pownce, Twitter, Jaiku or Tumblr just post to all of them at the same time and after figuring out all their features you can decide which one is the best according to your teaching objectives.
How is microblogging being used in ESL classrooms? Below you will find a short list with some examples .
Twitter limits each entry to 140 characters (about the length of this writing so far) before the entry is saved and made viewable to others. Other Twitter users, “Twits,” can then respond to the original twit. This is a great way to get reluctant writers or students who are having trouble getting ideas for creative writing to brainstorm with each other. Source: Free Technology for Teachers
Pownce is a great utility for starting conversations about events in the news. Post a link to a news story and have students reply, the formatting of Pownce allows users to reply to replies or to the original post. Pownce is a useful application for continuing conversation after class has ended. In their replies students can add related videos, web links, and images. Source: Free Technology for Teachers
Take a look at this great post on Twitter for Academia.
I think Twitter could be ideal for reminding students about homework, trips and such things, especially as they can enter their mobile phone number to be alerted when one of their ‘friends’ updates their account. The advantage is that you don’t need to know the phone numbers of students to get messages onto their device: they are the ones who authorize their mobile phone from the website and they subscribe to your Twitter feed. Source: Teaching.mrbelshaw
WordPress launcheda new microblogging feature last week called. Prologue. “Basically how it works is when someone has the ability to post to a blog they see a short form at the top of the home page with a post box and tags. There they can post short messages about what they’re doing.”
How are you planning to use these tools this year? I still have to continue researching and investigating but can obviously observe the great potential these tools have. I´m a technervy teacher!!!! This means I do what I can to show my students how to use technology.