A look at Twitter and #OERS14

This was the ninth year for the Ontario Education Research Symposium which is organized by the Ontario Education Research Panel.  As with previous years it was a wonderful venue to share research, explore new collaborations and expand networking opportunities.  Throughout the conference, attendees reflected and reacted to the keynote speakers and workshop presenters on twitter (#OERS14).  As with previous years, I used TAGS v5.1, a spreadsheet utility developed in Google Drive by Martin Hawksey, to collect and archive the conference tweets.

Over the course of the conference I had several people ask how I work with the twitter feeds. So, for those who are interested, here are the steps, premises and limitations of how I look at tweets: But first, some stats:

177 people engaged in #OERS14 through twitter with 1,280 tweets and 271 links shared.  This year, the top 5 tweeters were:

  • @abbaspeaks (100)
  • @ResearchChat (95)
  • @O3atORION (93)
  • @CarolCambell4 (76)
  • @KNAER_RECRAE (63)

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the discussions.

If you would like to take a closer look at the comments and resources that were shared the tweets are available as a pdf, an excel sheet and an online link:

  • Click here for a pdf of the tweets (with active links)
  • Click here for the excel sheet that is produced by TAGS v5.1
  • Click here to see what the google spreadsheet looks like.

The following steps can be seen in the excel sheet linked above.

Identifying retweets:

Working on the premise that the letters “RT” followed by a space signifies a retweet:

  • In a new column (in this case, column T)  I use the excel formula @LEFT(D2,3) to return the first three characters of each tweet.  This formula is copied in every cell in the column;
  • In the next column (column U) I use the formula =IF(SEARCH(“RT”, T2),1,0) to evaluate the three characters that are returned in column T and then return a 1 if it contains “RT “  and a null value if it doesn’t;
  • Using a filter I can sort on column U and take a look at the retweets.

Limitations: this won’t pick up retweets that are embedded further into a tweet, for example the tweet “I love this!  RT You won’t believe what they said” would be excluded because the RT occurs further into the text.

Identifying the most retweeted comment:

  • The approach is similar to the previous method.  In a new column (column V) @Left(cell, 30) is used to identify the first 30 characters of a tweet;
  • A pivot table is created using the RT codes and the Tweet stems from column V.  The Pivot table is selected and then sorted by the Counts.  The 9 or 10 tweets with the highest counts are selected and the full tweets are compiled from the original list.

Limitations: if there are slight variations in text further into the tweet it isn’t picked up or distinguished.  For example my tweet about the EQAO Research Bulletin had the most retweets for the math bulletin (8) than the literacy bulletin.  I manually changed this as I compiled the tweets.

Number of Retweets – Tweet:

  • 12 – RT @Anniekidder: #oers14 OECD data show no correlation between hours in school and performance. Quality not quantity. #OntEd
  • 12 – RT @CarolCampbell4: Future PISA tests to include collaborative problem solving & global citizenship #oers14
  • 12 – RT @Anniekidder: #oers14 Dr. Bruce Ferguson says “our classrooms are emergency rooms for the social problems in our society.”
  • 10 – RT @Anniekidder: #oers14 Students of parents who have high expectations report higher perseverance, motivation, confidence and greater enga…
  • 10 – RT @drcathybruce: #OERS14 Student efficacy (belief that they can do well) is crucial to math performance – #PISA results 2012
  • 8 – RT @ResearchChat: Prodigy game – Math RPG built on Ontario math curriculum and EQAO http://t.co/nnFgZH7Boz did I mention it is free? #OERS14
  • 8 – RT @Anniekidder: #oers14 OECD research showed it’s crucial that one staff person – not the teacher – is responsible for reaching out to/eng…
  • 8 – RT @ResearchChat: EQAO Research Bulletin – Longitudinal study of mathematics achievement: http://t.co/QulEU2Sz1l #OERS14 #ResearchChatl
  • 7 – RT @KNAER_RECRAE: Looking for education resources in French on various subjects? Check out http://t.co/zlnPXIMNlH #oers14 @OISENews @wester

Identifying Tweets with links:

  • In yet another new column (Column W)  I use the search formula again to identify tweets that contain any instances of “http:” and code it with a 1:  =IF(SEARCH(“http:”, D2),1,0);
  • Going back to the pivot table and refreshing to include the new column, I summarize by the urls from column W and select the 6 urls with the highest frequencies;
  • To make it easier to read (and more useful), I add the full URL and title of the website for the 5 most tweeted links:

Website Title

Full Website

Tweeted URL

Count of url

KNAER Photo of Partnership

https://twitter.com/KNAER_RECRAE/status/436170759422345216/photo/1   

http://t.co/YigaizwuSP (6 retweets)

http://t.co/v8Gq4djTs8 (6 retweets)

12

Prodigy Math Game

https://www.prodigygame.com/Canada/

http://t.co/nnFgZH7Boz

9

EQAO Research Bulletin on Mathematics

http://www.eqao.com/Research/pdf/E/ResearchBulletin13_en.pdf

http://t.co/QulEU2Sz1l

9

KNAER website

http://www.knaer-recrae.ca/

http://t.co/XwySdaifii

7

ÉduSource

http://edusourceontario.com/

http://t.co/zlnPXIMNlH

7

Ministry of education FDK Infographic

http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/kindergarten/fdk-infographic.html

http://t.co/IoA8WpmcVy

6

As with many other areas, the same task can be accomplished in a variety of ways.  I’m always interested in learning more efficient and elegant solutions to these kinds of data requests so if you have any thoughts or suggestions, please share them in the comments.

Retweeted Text

Number of times Retweeted

RT @Anniekidder: #oers14 OECD data show no correlation between hours in school and performance. Quality not quantity. #OntEd

12

RT @CarolCampbell4: Future PISA tests to include collaborative problem solving & global citizenship #oers14

12

RT @Anniekidder: #oers14 Dr. Bruce Ferguson says “our classrooms are emergency rooms for the social problems in our society.”

12

RT @Anniekidder: #oers14 Students of parents who have high expectations report higher perseverance, motivation, confidence and greater enga…

10

RT @drcathybruce: #OERS14 Student efficacy (belief that they can do well) is crucial to math performance – #PISA results 2012

10

RT @ResearchChat: Prodigy game – Math RPG built on Ontario math curriculum and EQAO http://t.co/nnFgZH7Boz did I mention it is free? #OERS14

8

RT @Anniekidder: #oers14 OECD research showed it’s crucial that one staff person – not the teacher – is responsible for reaching out to/eng…

8

RT @ResearchChat: EQAO Research Bulletin – Longitudinal study of mathematics achievement: http://t.co/QulEU2Sz1l #OERS14 #ResearchChatl

8

RT @KNAER_RECRAE: Looking for education resources in French on various subjects? Check out http://t.co/zlnPXIMNlH #oers14 @OISENews @wester…

7

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2 Responses to A look at Twitter and #OERS14

  1. dirkchen says:

    Great analysis, Chris!! Hope you enjoyed a great conference 🙂

    (Btw, I noticed there are some CSS-like code in your post.)

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