Twelve tips for using Twitter as a learning tool in medical education

Med Teach. 2013;35(1):8-14. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2012.746448. Epub 2012 Dec 21.


Background: Twitter is an online social networking service, accessible from any Internet-capable device. While other social networking sites are online confessionals or portfolios of personal current events, Twitter is designed and used as a vehicle to converse and share ideas. For this reason, we believe that Twitter may be the most likely candidate for integrating social networking with medical education.

Aims: Using current research in medical education, motivation and the use of social media in higher education, we aim to show the ways Twitter may be used as a learning tool in medical education.

Method: A literature search of several databases, online sources and blogs was carried out examining the use of Twitter in higher education.

Results: We created 12 tips for using Twitter as a learning tool and organized them into: the mechanics of using Twitter, suggestions and evidence for incorporating Twitter into many medical education contexts, and promoting research into the use of Twitter in medical education.

Conclusion: Twitter is a relatively new social medium, and its use in higher education is in its infancy. With further research and thoughtful application of media literacy, Twitter is likely to become a useful adjunct for more personalized teaching and learning in medical education.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blogging*
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Education, Medical / methods*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Social Media*