For all intents and purposes: Twitter as a foundational technology for teachers

Spencer P. Greenhalgh, Joshua M. Rosenberg, Leigh Graves Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Twitter is increasingly accepted as an important educational technology and has been shown to serve a range of purposes. In fact, this variety suggests that Twitter has the potential to serve as a foundational technology: one capable of supporting teachers’ learning across multiple formal and informal contexts. To explore this possibility, we examined the purposes that Twitter serves in one educational technology graduate program. We collected over 9000 tweets containing any of 12 program-related hashtags and coded a sample of them to describe the purposes they served. This resulted in six themes: contribute to disciplinary conversation, engage with disciplinary conversation, build community, make connections with other communities, ask for and provide support, and unclear or irrelevant purpose. These themes—and the varied contexts they were associated with—suggest that Twitter serves as a foundational technology in this program and has the potential to do so in other educational communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-98
Number of pages18
JournalE-Learning and Digital Media
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, © The Author(s) 2016.


  • Teacher education
  • Twitter
  • educational technology
  • foundational technology
  • graduate education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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