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Using Twitter for education: Beneficial or simply a waste of time?


Computers & Education Volume 106, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Twitter, a popular microblogging social networking site, allows individuals to communicate by sending short messages of up to 140 characters. Although it enables people to be in constant contact, its value in educational context is less clear. This paper is the first to examine empirical studies of using Twitter in teaching and learning over 10 years from 2006 to 2015, with the aim of understanding whether its implementation would benefit students or not. We identified a total of 51 eligible publications, and reported the analysis in four major categories: (a) the profile of studies, (b) the specific ways in which Twitter was employed in education, (c) the impacts on interactions, and (d) the impacts on students' learning outcomes. The findings reveal that Twitter was most commonly used for communication and assessment purposes. Although Twitter shows promise in improving interactions among learners and teachers, causality between Twitter use and learning performance remains to be conclusively established. Currently, the most beneficial use of Twitter is probably that of a “push” technology – such as the instructor sending important course information, homework assignments and test deadlines to students, as well as that of a platform for peer interaction. Many challenges still exist in using Twitter for teaching and learning. Based on our review of the literature, we proposed five guidelines that could help promote the educational value of Twitter use. We also identified several limitations of previous studies, and offered suggestions for future work.


Tang, Y. & Hew, K.F. (2017). Using Twitter for education: Beneficial or simply a waste of time?. Computers & Education, 106(1), 97-118. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved September 25, 2022 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 29, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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