What’s the tweet about Twitter

By MELISSA PILEIRO

Editor-in-Chief

A few years ago, the Internet buzzword was “Myspace.” Not long after, it seemed like every college kid in America was getting a Facebook page. Today, the website of the moment is Twitter, and it’s spreading faster than many of its competitors. The secret might be that while social networking sites like Myspace and Facebook tend to attract only young students, Twitter is intriguing just about everyone. Huge media corporations like the BBC and CNN have it, as do many popular celebrities and even politicians.

The sudden incredible popularity of Twitter has left many people on the outside asking one question: what is it, anyway? Put simply, Twitter’s purpose is to answer the simple question “what are you doing?” in 140 characters or less, about the same amount of space allowed for text messages.

Yup, that’s all there is to it.

So what’s the appeal? For most, it’s a way to keep in touch with family, friends, or colleagues without the clutter and busyness of other social networking sites. The length of individual messages, called “tweets,” is short enough for readers to get all the information they need without having to dig through photos, quizzes, and other friends.

For the media, Twitter adds an interesting new dimension to the way news is exchanged. When the Internet first started to gain momentum in the 90s, journalism was revolutionized as the day’s news no longer needed to wait for evening. Twitter is a step up from this almost-immediate gratification that news websites provide. Twitter can be used to post breaking news headlines long before a story is written.

Naysayers believe that Twitter does little more than support personal narcissism. Using the site might leave your friends wondering why you felt the need to tweet “having my morning cup of coffee” or “going to class.” However, those that use it typically have very specific reasons for tweeting, and are thankful that they can keep others informed in a quick, concise way.

You can follow The Voice on Twitter, too! Check us out at http://www.twitter.com/cccvoice. 

Students e-flock to hybrid courses

 

 

keyboardBy ASHLEY LONG

Staff Writer

 

Students have the option of taking a traditional classroom course or taking a hybrid. A hybrid course is where there is a carefully planned blend of both traditional classroom instruction and online learning activities. Students are able to make meaningful connections with their instructors and other students, without being required to travel to campus on a regular basis, as the majority of the coursework can be completed on the Internet.

Rather than having students sit in a lecture hall taking notes, instructors can teach through more “active-learning” assignments such as case studies, self-tests, tutorials, and online group projects, all of which are available over the Internet.

The most important educational benefits are how hybrid courses help improve writing and computer skills. Hybrid classes also encourage self-directed learning, time management, problem solving, and critical thinking skills in those who participate in the programs as well.

In addition to the obvious academic advantages, hybrid courses are also making it easier for more people to get a quality education. That’s because hybrid courses require limited on-campus attendance, which means they are more accessible to students. “Taking an online course is great, because the flexible class schedule allows me to work more hours at my job,” said Katrina Sansalone.

How does a hybrid course work for the faculty members who teach them? “It works well, but it is a lot of work,” said Professor Julie Stratton. “If I miss something in the lecture, I can easily Email the information to all students or post it to a discussion area. The additional online delivery method sometimes allows for more in-depth exploration through the hybrid portion, as well as having more current information to supplement the text.” 

The structure of a hybrid course allows for flexibility. What kind of student should look into taking a hybrid class? “This depends on the student. Something, hopefully, advisors help in guiding students through when they select classes. If a student works well independently, needs extra time to review material, has no problems with computers (whether it be using them or accessing them) and is looking to be more flexible in his or her schedule, then hybrid does fit that description. Although, I would not completely write off a hybrid course based on that list,” said Stratton.