Twitter Ye! Twitter Ye! Keep your students informed with free SMS text message broadcasts!

Twitter logoUpdate: Twitter currently sends free text messages to users on Vodafone, Orange, O2 and 3

Update (12/11/13): View the complete list of Twitter’s supported mobile carriers and more about using SMS with Twitter

Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) recently posted about the Use of Twitter to Support IWMW Events. In his post he highlights the potential use of Twitter to support communication between participants and conference organisers (If at this point you are thinking ‘what is Twitter?’, Brian and his team have put together a page describing Twitter and how it could be used).
One of the features of Twitter, which I wasn’t aware of, is the ability to follow another persons ‘twits’ via SMS text messages. Twitter doesn’t charge anything for sending texts so it is possible to create a lightweight JANET txt style service for FREE!
Here’s the basic recipe:

  1. Create Twitter account for course/program
  2. Ask your students to create their own Twitter account, registering their mobile phone if they want to receive SMS messages
  3. Provide students with instructions on how to follow the course Twitter account
  4. Start ‘twitting’ important course information (e.g. lecture/tutorial cancellations, important assignment deadlines).

[As a tutor you can also make twitter updates via SMS (sending text messages will be charged at your standard network rate). This way sending one text message to Twitter can be automatically forwarded to all your Twitter followers at no extra cost.]
The video below talks you through the process:


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