This report represents the second annual survey on Twitter usage and trends among college faculty. This year's survey, like that conducted in 2009, sought answers to some of the fundamental questions regarding faculty members' familiarity, perception, and experience with the micro-blogging technology, as well as whether they expect their Twitter use to increase or decrease in the future. We also examined year-to-year comparisons to see how the Twitter landscape has changed during the past 12 months. The 2010 Faculty Focus survey of nearly 1,400 higher education professionals found that more than a third (35.2 percent) of the 1,372 respondents who completed the survey in July-August 2010 use Twitter in some capacity. That's up from 30.7 percent in 2009. Meanwhile, the percentage of educators who never used Twitter decreased from 56.4 percent in 2009 to 47.9 percent in 2010. The remaining 16.9 percentage consists of those who tried Twitter, but stopped using it â€”an increase from 12.9 percent in 2009.
Of those who currently use Twitter, the most common activities include â€œto share information with peersâ€ and â€œas a real-time news source.â€ Instructional uses, such as â€œto communicate with studentsâ€ and â€œas a learning tool in the classroomâ€ are less popular, although both activities saw increases over the previous year. Meanwhile, a number of non-users expressed concerns that Twitter creates poor writing skills and could be yet another classroom distraction. Many also noted that very few of their students use Twitter. Finally, a new trend that emerged this year centred on the belief that many feel they already have too many places to post messages or check for student questions/comments. As one professor put it, â€œI have no interest in adding yet another communication tool to my overloaded life. In terms of future use, just over half (56.8 percent) of current Twitter users say they expect to increase their use during the coming academic year. Only 2.5 percent say their Twitter use will likely decrease, and 40.7 percent say it will stay about the same.
This 22-page report gives a breakdown of each survey question, including a sampling of the comments provided by the respondents. The comments allowed faculty to further explain how they are using Twitter, why they stopped, or why they have no interest in using it at all.