Your mobile device should be charged and ready to go for political science classes taught by professors Stephen Maynard Caliendo, William Muck (pictured right) and Suzanne Chod. They believe that using Twitter keeps students on their toes when it comes to following and reacting to political issues.
As part of class discussions and homework, students are asked to frame their thoughts and reactions in 140-character messages and share them at the class or event hashtag. Students also can reach their professors on Twitter with questions. “I had students tweet during my seminar on Women in American Politics,” says Chod. “They were encouraged to tweet thoughts, epiphanies and just general things that struck them during class. And in my Congress class, they tweeted as we simulated debating and voting on a fictitious bill. The process of tweeting reflects ways members of Congress might reach out to their constituents.”
Each term, the professors organize a popular public lecture called a TIP Talk to comment on current topics, like the Olympics, violence in the Ukraine and political media experts. Participants in the audience are encouraged to tweet at #TIPTalks.
The use of Twitter in the classroom has become an area of academic research and expertise these professors have presented to their peers at Midwestern and national political science conferences. Says Muck: “We’ve been studying our use of Twitter in the classroom because we find it’s a great way to engage students in the political process.”