Jumping (In) with Van Halen and Twitter

Many of our #CuriousCoLab participants will be new to twitter and even more will be new to each other. We have developed the assignment below as an attempt to help get people to start using twitter and to start getting to know each other. What do you think? What changes would yousuggest?

Twitter: Might As Well Jump (In)

Van-HalenTwitter will allow us to talk to each other, no matter where we are or where we live and work. It also encourages us to be brief. This assignment will help us get started on Twitter and get connected to each other. Some of you will have used Twitter a lot – we encourage you to help those who are new. Some of you will be new to Twitter – we encourage you to try it out and feel free to ask questions. It took me a week to get comfortable. It does get easier, more fun and more useful. Plus, it will be an important way we communicate with each other.

Our jumping in assignment begins at 8 a.m. (EST) on Monday, May 18th, and will end at 5:00 on Wednesday afternoon. Your blog post about this experience is due on the following Monday.

Setting Up Your Follower List

  1. Review the online toolkit.
  2. Introduce yourself on Twitter, in just 140 characters or less. The introduction must include #CuriousCoLab so people can find you. You do not need to include your handle since they will see it when you post your tweet. The earlier you introduce yourself, the more people will be able to connect with you.
  3. Search #CuriousCoLab, click on the “All” tab (the “Top” tab leaves some tweets out). Follow the other participants in the course (click on their tweet, click on their name, click the “Follow” button).
  4. Follow the members of the team who has been working on this course: @ValerieHolton@Tessa_VCU@GoogleGuacamole,@jenniferlearly@JenniferJettner@samanthadace@GrantKWolfe.
  5. Find others outside of this course you want to follow. Check out the list of who people follow to see what interests you, search for organizations and people you want to connect with, search #’s that are of interest to you and see who is in the conversation (e.g. #CEnR, #VCUCEnR). This is the beginning of you building your personal learning network (PLN). A shameless plug for my organization: consider following @VCUCommunity (Division of Community Engagement – the course is being offered through this unit), @VCUALTLab (the amazing people who have helped with this course), and @VCU (that is where we all work).

Using Twitter

  1. Over the course of the next couple days, practice sending tweets (Twitter messages of 140 characters or less). Your tweets could concern something you’re doing, something you blogged about, or perhaps point others to something interesting or funny you read online, or even better, for this course. If you link to something, consider using a shortener like http://goo.gl/ (you can track how many people view your link too, which is interesting). Maybe you could even pose a question that you’d like others to answer.
  2. Respond to your classmates’ tweets. To respond, click on the arrow after a tweet. Or you can type the @ symbol followed immediately by a username (such as @ValerieHolton or @Tessa_VCU). The more you respond, the more people will pay attention to what you are saying, the more people will be able to find you to connect with you.
  3. If you can make it, tweet during the Barbara Holland interview – ask questions, respond to what is being said, pull out quotes that are noteworthy.


After the jumping in assignment is over, add a 250-word (minimum) post to your blog about the experience and what you got out of it. Be sure to include at least one way you might find value in tweeting and any concerns you have about using twitter for educational and professional purposes. This blog post is due on Monday.

Go ahead and JUMP (in)!








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