Using Twitter in Higher Education in Spain and the USA / Uso de Twitter en Educación Superior en España y Estados Unidos

Tur, Gemma and Marín-Juarros, Victoria and Carpenter, Jeffrey Using Twitter in Higher Education in Spain and the USA / Uso de Twitter en Educación Superior en España y Estados Unidos. Comunicar, 2017, vol. 25, n. 51, pp. 19-28. [Journal article (Paginated)]

Text (Text in English)
c5102en.pdf - Published version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (317kB) | Preview
Text (Texto en Español)
c5102es.pdf - Published version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (312kB) | Preview

English abstract

This article examines student and teachers’ use and perceptions of Twitter, based on a mixed-method comparative approach. Participants (N=153) were education majors who used Twitter as a part of required coursework in their programs at two universities in Spain and the United States. The theoretical background covers research on international work carried out on Twitter as well as a brief overview of the introduction of technology in two educational national systems. Quantitative data were collected via a survey, while qualitative data were obtained from students’ reflective written texts. The majority of participants from both contexts perceived educational benefits to Twitter. However, their use of Twitter, and the nature of their perceptions of its educational value, appeared to differ in important ways. The U.S. participants’ longer and more frequent use of Twitter was accompanied by more positive beliefs regarding the educational relevance of Twitter. While many Spanish participants saw value in the use of Twitter to find and share information, U.S. students highlighted interactive and collaborative uses. The study uncovers some challenges for learning related to Twitter’s short format. In the conclusion section we discuss implications for learning and teaching in an age of ubiquitous social media.

Spanish abstract

El presente artículo examina los usos y las percepciones de estudiantes y profesores en relación a Twitter a partir de una investigación comparada con metodologías mixtas. Los participantes (n=153) fueron alumnos de educación de dos universidades en España y EEUU que usaron Twitter como parte de una actividad del curso. El marco teórico abarca la investigación internacional sobre Twitter así como un breve repaso a la introducción de la tecnología en los dos sistemas educativos nacionales. Los datos cuantitativos se recogieron con un cuestionario mientras que los datos cualitativos se obtuvieron a través de los textos reflexivos escritos de los estudiantes. La mayoría de los participantes de los dos contextos percibieron los beneficios educativos de Twitter. Sin embargo, su uso de Twitter y la naturaleza de sus percepciones en relación a su valor educativo, difirió de maneras importantes. Los participantes de EEUU usaron Twitter por más tiempo y de manera más frecuente a la vez que demostraron creencias más positivas en relación a la relevancia educativa de Twitter. Mientras que los participantes españoles valoraron el uso de Twitter para encontrar y compartir información, los estudiantes americanos destacaron los usos para la interacción y la colaboración. El estudio destapa algunos retos del formato breve de Twitter para el aprendizaje. En las conclusiones discutimos las implicaciones para la enseñanza aprendizaje en la era de la ubicuidad de los medios sociales.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: Higher Education, e-learning, teacher training, didactic innovation, educational research, teacher reflection, ICT, social media, Educación Superior, e-learning, formación de profesorado, innovación didáctica, investigación educativa, reflexión docente, TIC, medios sociales
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information > BJ. Communication
G. Industry, profession and education.
G. Industry, profession and education. > GH. Education.
Depositing user: Alex Ruiz
Date deposited: 10 Apr 2017 08:40
Last modified: 10 Apr 2017 08:40


Adnan, M., Leak, A., & Longleya, P. (2014). A Geocomputational Analysis of Twitter Activity around Different World Cities. Geo-spatial Information Science, 17(3), 145-152.

Amichai-Hamburger, Y., & Hayat, Z. (2011). The Impact of the Internet on the Social Lives of Users: A Representative Sample from 13 Countries. Computers in Human Behavior, 27, 585-589.

Area, M., Alonso, C., Correa, J.M., del-Moral, M.E., de-Pablos, J., Paredes, J., Peirats, J., Sanabri, A.L., San-Martín, A., & Valverde, J. (2014). Las políticas educativas TIC en Espan~a después del Programa Escuela 2.0: Las tendencias que emergen. Relatec, 13(2), 11-33.

Basilotta, V., & Herrada, G. (2013). Aprendizaje a través de proyectos colaborativos con TIC. Análisis de dos experiencias en el contexto educativo. Edutec, 44. ( (2016-10-10).

Carpenter, J.P. (2014). Twitter's Capacity to Support Collaborative Learning. International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments, 2(2), 103-118.

Carpenter, J.P., & Krutka, D.G. (2014a). How and Why Educators Use Twitter: A Survey of the Field. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 46(4), 414-434.

Carpenter, J.P., & Krutka, D.G. (2014b). Chat it Up: Everything you Wanted to Know about Twitter Chats but Were Afraid to Ask. Learning and Leading with Technology, 41(5), 10-15. ( (2016-10-10).

Carpenter, J.P., & Krutka, D.G. (2015). Engagement through Microblogging: Educator Professional Development via Twitter. Professional Development in Education, 41(4), 707-728.

Carpenter, J.P., Tur, G., & Marín, V.I. (2016). What do USA and Spanish Pre-service Teachers Think about Educational and Professional use of Twitter? A Comparative Study. Teaching and Teacher Education, 60, 131-143.

Castañeda, L., Costa, C., & Torres-Kompen, R. (2011). The Madhouse of Ideas: Stories about Networking and Learning with Twitter. Conference 2011, Southampton, UK. ( (2016-10-10).

Correa, J., Losada, D., & Fernández, L. (2012). Polí´ticas educativas y prácticas escolares de integracio´n de las tecnologías en las escuelas del País Vasco: Voces y cuestiones emergentes. Campus Virtuales, 1(1), 21-30. ( (2016-10-10).

Davis, K. (2015). Teachers’ Perceptions of Twitter for Professional Development. Disability and Rehabilitation, 37(17), 1551-1558.

De-Paoli, S., & Larooy, A. (2015). Teaching with Twitter: Reflections on Practices, Opportunities and Problems. Paper in EUNIS 2015, Dundee, Scotland (UK), 10-12 June. ( (2016-10-10).

Domenech, M. (2015). Completamente quijotizados. La rebotica de literlengua. [Web log post]. ( (2016-10-10).

Ertmer, P.A., & Ottenbreit-Letwich, A. (2013). Removing Obstacles to the Pedagogical Changes Required by Jonassen’s Vision of Authentic-enabled Learning. Computers & Education, 64, 175-182.

Heinrichs, N., Rapee, R.M., Alden, L.A., Bögels, S., Hofmann, S.G., Oh, K.J., & Sakano, Y. (2006). Cultural Differences in Perceived Social Norms and Social Anxiety. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44(8), 1187-1197.

Hermans, R., Tondeur, J., Van-Braak, J., & Valcke, M. (2008). The Impact of Primary School Teachers’ Educational Beliefs on the Classroom Use of Computers. Computers & Education, 51, 1499-1509.

Herro, D. (2014). Techno Savvy: A Web 2.0 Curriculum Encouraging Critical Thinking. Educational Media International, 51(4), 259-277.

Hofstede, G. (1986). Cultural Differences in Teaching and Learning. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 10(3), 301-320.

Hunter, J.D., & Caraway, H.J. (2014). Urban Youth Use Twitter to Transform Learning and Engagement. The English Journal, 103(4), 76-82. ( (2016-10-10).

Jackson, L., & Wang, J.L. (2013). Cultural Differences in Social Networking Site Use: A Comparative Study of China and the United States. Computers in Human Behavior, 29, 910-921.

Junco, R., Elavsky, M.C., & Heiberger, G. (2013). Putting Twitter to the Test: Assessing Outcomes for Student Collaboration, Engagement and Success. British Journal of Education Technology, 44(2), 273-287. 8535.2012.01284.x

Junco, R., Heiberger, G., & Loken, E. (2011). The Effect of Twitter on College Student Engagement and Grades. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 27(2), 119-132. 10.1111/j.1365-2729.2010.00387.x

Kassens-Noor, E. (2012). Twitter as a Teaching Practice to Enhance Active and Informal Learning in Higher Education: The Case of Sustainable Tweets. Active Learning in Higher Education, 13(1), 9-21.

Ku, Y.C., Chen, R., & Zhang, H. (2013). Why do Users Continue Using Social Networking Sites? An Exploratory Study of Members in the United States and Taiwan. Information & Management, 50, 571-581.

Kurtz, J. (2009). Twittering about learning: Using Twitter in an Elementary School Classroom. Horace, 25(1), 1-4. ( (2016-10-10).

Lalueza, F., & Collell, M.R. (2013). Globalization or Americanization of Spanish Higher Education? A Comparative Case Study of Required Skills in the Higher Education Systems of the United States and Spain. Razón y Palabra, 17(4-85). ( (2016-10-10).

Lu, A. (2011). Twitter Seen Evolving into Professional Development Tool. Education Week, 30(36), 20. ( (2016-10-10).

Luckin, R., Clark., W., Graber, R., Logan, K., Mee, A., & Oliver, M. (2009). Do Web 2.0 Tools really Open the Door to Learning? Practices, Perceptions and Profiles of 11-16 year-old Students. Learning, Media and Technology, 34(2), 87-104.

Marín, V.I., & Tur, G. (2014). Student Teachers’ Attitude towards Twitter for Educational Aims. Open Praxis, 6(3), 275-285.

Marín, V.I., Negre, F., & Pérez-Garcias, A. (2014). Entornos y redes personales de aprendizaje (PLEPLN) para el aprendizaje colaborativo [Construction of the Foundations of the PLE and PLN for Collaborative Learning]. Comunicar, 42, 35-43.

Matzat, U., & Vrieling, E.M. (2015). Self-regulated Learning and Social Media - A ‘Natural Alliance’? Evidence on Students’ Self-regulation of Learning, Social Media Use, and Student-teacher Relationship. Learning, Media and Technology, 41(1), 73-99.

Mercier, E., Rattray, J., & Lavery, J. (2015). Twitter in the Collaborative Classroom: Micro-blogging for In-class Collaborative Discussions. International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments, 3(2), 83-99.

Molina, A. (2011). El Lazarillo de Tormes en Twitter. Plataforma Educa. [Web log post]. ( (2016-10-10).

Muñoz, F. (2012). Experiencias didácticas con Twitter. Educa con TIC. [Blogpost]. ( (2016-10-10).

Nowell, S.D. (2014). Using Disruptive Technologies to make Digital Connections: Stories of Media Use and Digital Literacy in Secondary Classrooms. Educational Media International, 51(2), 109-123.

Salinas, J. (2013). Enseñanza flexible y aprendizaje abierto, fundamentos clave de los PLEs. In L. Castañeda, & J. Adell (Eds.), Entornos personales de aprendizaje: Claves para el ecosistema educativo en Red (pp. 53-70). Alcoy: Marfil.

Shah, N.A.K., Shabgahi, S.L., & Cox, A.M. (2015). Uses and Risks of Microblogging in Organisational and Educational Settings. British Journal of Educational Technology, 47(6), 1168-1182.

Shirky, C. (2011). Political Power of Social Media: Technology, the Public Sphere, and Political Change. Foreign Affairs, 90(1), 28-41. ( (2016-10-10).

Teo, T. (2009). Modelling Technology Acceptance in Education: A Study of Pre-service Teachers. Computers & Education, 52(2), 302-312.

Theocharis, Y., Lowe., W., Van-Deth, J.W., & García-Albacete, G. (2015). Using Twitter to Mobilize Protest Action: Online Mobilization Patterns and Action Repertoires in the Occupy Wall Street, Indignados, and Aganaktismenoi movements. Information, Communication & Society, 18(2), 202-220. 10.1080/1369118X.2014.948035

Tirado-Morueta, R., & Aguaded, I. (2014). Influencias de las creencias del profesorado sobre el uso de la tecnología en el aula. Revista de Educación, 363, 230-255.

Torres-Díaz, J.C, Duart, J.M., Gómez-Alvarado, H.F., Marín-Gutiérrez, I., & Segarra-Faggioni, V. (2016). Internet Use and Academic Success in University Students. [Usos de Internet y éxito académico en estudiantes universitarios]. Comunicar, 48(24), 61-70.

Tur, G., & Marín, V.I. (2015). Enhancing Learning with the Social Media: Student Teachers’ Perceptions on Twitter in a Debate Activity. New Approaches in Educational Research, 4(1), 46-53.

Van-Dijck, J. (2011). Tracing Twitter: The Rise of a Microblogging Platform. International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics, 7(3), 333-348.

Wesely, P.M. (2013). Investigating the Community of Practice of World Language Educators on Twitter. Journal of Teacher Education, 64(4), 305-318.

West, B., Moore, H., & Barry, B. (2015). Beyond the Tweet: Using Twitter to Enhance Engagement, Learning, and Success among First-year Students. Journal of Marketing Education, 37(3), 160-170.


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item