Twitter is a popular “micro-blogging” tool. If you know of Twitter feeds that you would like to encourage your students to follow, you can display a Twitter widget in your QMplus course area. This widget will display the latest tweets from your chosen source.
This guide shows you how to create a Twitter widget and display it in your QMplus course area. You will need a Twitter account to be able to create a Twitter widget and it is assumed that you are comfortable with adding blocks to a QMplus course area.
This guide covers:
Step 1: Create a Twitter widget
To create a Twitter widget, you will have to have an account on Twitter. Go to http://www.twitter.com and log in.
Click on the cog icon towards the top right of the screen and select Settings. Now select Widgets.
Click the Create new button.
Now you can configure your widget. Set the options on the left and you will see a preview of your widget on the right. Here we have set up the widget to show the E-Learning Unit’s tweets. You can experiment with the settings. Once you are happy with how things are set up, click on Create Widget.
Now you need to copy the HTML code from the box on the right. This is the code you need to paste into your QMplus course area to display your widget. Make sure it is selected by clicking on it. Copy the code and then click Save changes.
Navigate to the course area on QMplus you want to put the Twitter widget in. With editing turned on, select HTML from the drop down menu in Add a Block.
A new block will appear called (New HTML Block), click on the edit icon (cog icon) under the block title. Click on Configure (New HTML Block) Block. You will see the following screen. Give the block a sensible title. Then click on the HTML icon in the tray of the visual editor.
Now paste the code you copied from Twitter into the HTML editor. Click Update.
You will be returned to the HTML block configuration screen. Don’t worry that you can’t see your widget yet. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Save Changes.
If you still can’t see the Twitter widget in your new HTML block, click Turn Editing Off
Now you, and your students, should be able to see the Twitter widget in its full glory.
In this example I have chosen to display the tweets of a particular Twitter user. There are other ways in which you can configure the widget:
- Set up a list on your Twitter account and then make a widget to display the list e.g. make a list of the top 5 tweeters in your academic area and then make a widget to display them.
- Set up a widget to display tweets with a particular hashtag, e.g. your module code. When you tweet, use that hashtag and the tweet will automatically get displayed in the widget in the course area. Encourage your students to tweet with that hashtag too and their tweets will get displayed in the widget. Remember to make the hashtag something quite specific or you may pick up some unexpected tweets!
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