Posted by Sarah_h12
Written by Sarah Hardey (@s_hardey)
Do you have a question? Raise your hand and ask! No? What are you afraid of?
When you go to class do you see your professor as a contact? Well you should. Most college professors have worked in the field they teach in; if not, they know a few people who do. This is a great benefit for you now and in the future.
For right now, your first year in college, you may feel a little timid to go up and talk to your professor before or after class. We need to break that habit! Professors are people and, for the most part. they love to answer your questions. They are here to help you, guide you – that’s what they get paid for.
So what if class ends and you didn’t get a chance to ask a question about our final project? You go home, send an email, and wait for a reply. Most times the reply comes too late or not at all. So what do you do? Use social media!
Like I said in my last blog, “Social Media is a Tool,” when I briefly covered a prime use of twitter: It’s all about communication — so why not communicate with your teachers? It’s faster, easier, less formal, and simple. Most teachers at UTD have some kind of social media connection. It really works, trust me!
So this is what you need to do…you have a question about your final project, your computer crashed and erased all your work, or your car had a flat and you missed the first half of class. It’s, not really, a-okay, but professors (for the most part) will help you out as long as you communicate. Send out a quick tweet explaining your problem and 99% of the time you will get an answer back within the hour, compared to an email response, which could take 24-48 hours. An hour isn’t bad!
I used Twitter a lot last semester. I used it for class discussion, talking with my peers about projects about class in general, and I also used it to keep in touch with my professors (and I still do). I took a class with Dr. Janet Johnson (@janetnews) and Dr. Dave Parry (@academicdave) last semester and in both of those classed I tried something new. I kept class discussion on my mind, tweeting about it, getting my professors’ thoughts about additional matters. Also. when I was writing my final paper for Dr. Johnson, I tweeted her constantly with ideas and edits to make my paper the best it could be (I ended up with a A-). They both told me, in class, that they really appreciated the communication. Dr. Johnson and I really have kept in touch, and now that I have her twitter she is a contact for my future, and not a bad one to have! She knows everyone via Twitter! This semester, I am taking a class (Writing and Research for New Media, which has also assigned this group blog project), with Dr. Andrew Famigiletti (@afamiglietti). In Dr. Famigiletti’s class we have even used twitter to discuss our group blog projects, which turned out to be a great way to get feedback about what the ‘public’ thought about our blog ideas. We have also used twitter as a fun class assignment game, connecting one topic to other topics that didn’t seem to have any connection (i.e. “Hot Jupiter” >> “Dallas, TX“).
So now will you Tweet? The more your professors understand you as an individual person, the better student you will become. Your grades will get better, you’ll understand class materials and discussions, and you’ll gain a contact that can help you out when you graduate and are looking for that first job.