education physiotherapy research social media

Twitter in undergraduate physiotherapy research

I’ve spent the past few weeks experimenting with Twitter, a micro-blogging service that allows users to post short “tweets” of up to 140 characters.  I’ve been following it’s development for a year or so but never really got it.  I finally saw it’s potential in education when I realised that it’s only a small leap from spreading news quickly, to spreading ideas quickly.  Combined with a URL shortening service like, it makes a great channel for concise communication.

I’ve been using it for a few weeks with two of my undergraduate physiotherapy research groups to post links to articles and guidelines I think they may find useful.  So far, it’s worked quite well.  I can quickly post a link to something I come across without the hassle of opening an email client (I post mainly from a Firefox sidebar plugin called Twitbin), and they get immediate notification (if they’re online) of my post.  They can then reply immediately (they don’t, but they can).  I’m going to evaluate it’s use as an alternative channel for communication in the physiotherapy department.  If it works well I’d like to try an open source, self-hosted alternative to Twitter, called Laconica.

You can see some of my tweets (posts from Twitter) in the sidebar of this blog, or at

Here are some links from this post:
Wikipedia article on Twitter
Twitbin (Firefox sidebar plugin) (URL shortening service)
Laconica (open source micro-blogging platform)

twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-03-01

  • Reflective practise and assessment at #
  • Social media applied to online-only university, open courseware and peer-to-peer learning #
  • Nice explanation of the semantic web by Tim Berners-Lee, in Scientific American (2001), so a bit old but still good #
  • A matrix of uses of blogging in education, prepared by Scott Leslie in 2003, at Original blog at #
  • Learning in and within an open wiki project: Wikiversity’s potential in global capacity building at #
  • Web 2.0 storytelling: emergence of a new genre, about creating rich media with social media, quite cool, at #
  • Developing professional physiotherapy competence by internet-based reflection, at #
  • Using micro-blogging in education; presentation on Slideshare, plenty of related slideshows as well. Available at #
  • Another slideshow about using Twitter for education, slides 3, 6, 11 are pretty cool. Available at #
  • Rehab+, a physio-related database from McMaster University (the home of EBP), providing citations 4 the latest evidence #
  • RT @benwerd The people are the social network; the site is the tool that facilitates that network. #
  • If everyone opened up their APIs, could we have a web without the web? #
  • Who are the Net Generation (Gen Y)? #
  • The disruption of textbook publishing, too expensive (time, labour, resources). Are digital books a solution? Wikis? #
  • Basic guidelines on how to design a questionnaire for conducting research in health (2 links – and #

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