There are lots of reasons why students should use twitter.
1. Used properly, Twitter is possibly the easiest way of getting a steady flow of information and ideas from reliable and interesting sources.
2. If you follow, and interact with, other Geographers you quickly become part of a community in which people help each other, ask questions and give advice. You can ask questions of specific individuals or just put a query out there for Twitter to answer.
3. If your tutor or department puts stuff out on Twitter, then Twitter is an easy way to find out what’s going on without having to walk in and look at actual notice boards! Your tutor might even be posting up assessment tips and test clues for those students who are enthusiastic enough to seek them out!.
4. Twitter is easy “micro-study”: working on your Geography for just a few minutes (checking your Geography Twitter stream while waiting for your kettle to boil, for example) rather than making a big deal of having to find hours at a time before you do any work. Two minutes scanning recent tweets from top Geographers and key organisations can be extremely valuable. Low-effort micro-study periods are a good way of keeping Geography close to the front of your brain between lectures and tutorials.
5. Good students will use lots of different ways to get information, share ideas, ask questions, seek inspiration and keep up to date with news and debates within the discipline. Twitter is one of those ways.
And here are a few tips:
Tip – You don’t have to use Twitter to follow vapid celebrities or chat to friends you already chat to on WhatsApp. You can use Twitter just to follow interesting, reliable feeds directly relevant to what you are studying. If you follow a few dozen really good geography-related feeds and check once a day what has shown up, you will find a terrific amount of material raining in on you that you can relate to your course.
Tip – If you DO want to follow vapid celebrities and chat to friends you already chat to on WhatsApp, but don’t want to mix that up with your Geography, it’s OK to have different feeds for Geography and for your other stuff, for example by setting up lists or using multiple accounts for different purposes.
Tip – If you want to follow your tutor / department but don’t want them to see or follow you, you can make yourself private or use a separate fake-name account for your Geography stuff.
Big Tip – Lots of people say they “don’t want to be on Twitter”. That’s OK – you can still read other people’s tweets (for example from your department) without “joining” anything. Twitter streams have their own web pages that you can see even if you are not “on twitter” yourself. So, for example, if you want to see what @PKGeog is saying, but don’t have a twitter account yourself, just go to www.twitter.com/PKGeog and you will see all their tweets. You don’t have to “follow” them or anything. Easy.
There’s another post in this Blank Atlas blog about Tweeting for Academics here: https://blankatlas.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/twitter-for-an-academic-geographer/