Teaching journalism students to Twitter – the Twentoring project

Soon after I posted my frustration at journalism students being slow to adopt Twitter, I came up with an idea: you only really start using Twitter when there is a social reason – so why not help by creating those social connections? I posted a call-out to Twitter

Anyone willing to ‘adopt’ a journalism student on Twitter and answer their questions about it?

The response (especially on a Sunday afternoon) was heartwarming – within less than an hour I had more than one ‘Twentor’ (thanks to Scott Keegan for that word) per student – responses below. Two days later and the effect has been noticeable – the majority of students had started chatting to their mentors and you could see the lights switching on.

Needless to say the Twentoring idea itself makes two very strong points about Twitter: firstly, how it can be used as a source of support; and secondly, how easy it is to make professional contacts.

When Dave Lee came to speak to the students yesterday he compared it to ‘getting your feet under the table’ at a news organisation – now, as a journalism student, when the local news team needs a hand you can be ‘there’ in a virtual sense to offer help.

Thanks to all who offered to join the ‘Twentoring’ scheme. Here are their responses in full:

paulbradshaw: Anyone willing to ‘adopt’ a journalism student on Twitter and answer their questions about it?

about a day ago

MissCay: I don’t mind doing that!

about a day ago

gabysslave: yes we kind of did that at brumtwestival

about a day ago

amypalko: What kind of questions? Do you want just anyone or someone from a specific field?

about a day ago

davidelstone: I wouldn’t mind – but my experience is more broadcast than online.

about a day ago

tobynutter: do they have to be stalwart users or can relative newbies such as myself join in?

about a day ago

JayneHowarth: i don’t mind, but not sure how helpful I’d be!

about a day ago

DVDsnapshot: Love to! Former journalism grad myself!

about a day ago

louisebolotin: Sure, count me in!

about a day ago

Vivdora: have been on twitter for two+ years, not a geek could I help?

about a day ago

DotLepkowska: I don’t mind helping out a student. Happy to help if I can.

about a day ago

julianlstar: I’ll contribute to that one

about a day ago

lauraAjones: If your 1st job takes you to Hull & you grew up in Brum it’s an ace way to research the patch, v.happy to ‘adopt’ someone

about a day ago

ClareWhite: I’d be willing if my cynical ex-journalist world view is at all helpful🙂

about a day ago

davidhiggerson: More than happy to

about a day ago

Screenjabber: Me too – always happy to try to help the up-and-comers. Surprised people still choose journalism as a career!

about a day ago

Calli: Let me know if I can help in any way

about a day ago

halbluchs: Twitter adoption? Sounds interesting😉 I’m in.

about a day ago

standupkid: Always happy to answer questions…

about a day ago

NigelBarlow: can a mature journalism student adopt one ?

about a day ago

mathewi: @paulbradshaw: I’d be happy to help a student if you need me, Paul

about a day ago

neil_raygun: I’m happy to. Not around much for the rest of today, but happy to answer any questions they have.

about a day ago

tombeardshaw: happy to twentor someone – already doing it for companies, DJs & misc layabouts🙂

about a day ago

Lucas_MG: I’ll “adopt” a student if needed.

about a day ago

kirklapointe: Count me in for a student.

about a day ago

6 thoughts on “Teaching journalism students to Twitter – the Twentoring project

  1. Louise Bolotin

    Very happy to have been able to help. My “twentee” was a little slow to respond to me but I was delighted when she tweeted to say she was getting the hang of Twitter at last.

    Twentoring is a great idea as it’s only by using Twitter that journalism students will see the possibilities. Even I, with many years of experience behind me, was slow to take up Twitter and discover how useful it can be. It does take a while for the penny to drop as it’s not immediately obvious how useful Twitter can be.

    Reply
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