Using Twitter for studying Economics Reply

Earlier this year I made a presentation with some e-learning tips, tricks and tools. At that stage I wrote:

…look beyond Word and PowerPoint and start using the tools that will help you to create and share good outputs. Setting up a proper online workflow will help you to keep track of resources, references and your notes. Please, no more excuses about lost flash drives or the dog eating your assignment. Start developing your online brand now.

At the start of the second semester I want to encourgae our students to start reading and thinking about current issues.

You can read the newspaper, Finweek or The Economist, or you can get at these and other resources via Twitter. What follows is my list of recommendations for students starting to use Twitter for academic purposes. I say, build that personal learning network!

Step 1: Follow your lecturers on Twitter. I am @ekonoom.

In the School of Economics you also have Dr Henri Bezuidenhout (@HenriBez), Mr Requier Wait (@RequierWait), Carike Claassen (@carikec), Alicia Fourie (@Alicia_Fourie) and Prof Marianne Matthee (@MattheeMarianne).

Step 2: Follow other South African academic economists. At Stellenbosch I recommend Johan Fourie (@JohanFourieZA), Dieter von Fintel (@dietervf), Neil Rankin (@NeilRankinZA) Hendrik van den Berg (@hendrikvanb) and Nic Spaull (@NicSpaull). John Luiz (@JohnMLuiz) is at UCT Graduate School of Business and Gareth Roberts (@garethrobertsza) is at Wits/AMERU. Adrian Saville (@AdrianSaville) is a visiting Professor at GIBS. Ed Kerby (@Edkerby) spends his time between SA and London, but I will add him here.There are a few others out there that I follow, but they tweet very little.

Step 3: Follow people who will let you know what is happening in the South African economy. The options are many and I would love to hear some recommendations. The ones that I find helpful are: FNB’s Cees Bruggemans (@ceesbruggemans) and Chris Hart (@chrishartZA) at Investment Solutions. John Loos (@john_loos) focusses on property, but also covers more general economics issues. Mike Schussler (@mikeschussler) links to an article every now and then. At KPMG economist and one-time NWU colleague Lullu Krugel (@LulluKrugel) tweets about the macroeconomy. Amongst the finance types I follow George Glynos (@George_Glynos) and Paul Theron (@paul_vestact) but there are many more (but beware of following too many of those “Austrian” economist types). For analysis and opinions from the SAIRR follow Frans Cronje (@FCronje_SAIRR). Matt Quigley (@MattQuigley) is at NKC economists and does a nice “week ahead” post for Mail & Guardian. Amongst the economics and financial journalists I like Bruce Whitfield (@brucebusiness) who hosts the Classic Business show. You should listen to those podcasts. Also Erika van der Merwe (@ErikavdMerwe), Alec Hogg (@alechogg), Mari Blumenthal (@LMariB) and the always excellent Felicity Duncan (@FelicityDuncan). There are many other news services and journalists, but for those you can have a look at who I’m following and follow from there.

Step 4: Go international. There are many people out there to follow and here it depends what you are looking for: US economy, EU, specific issues. For broader development related content I follow quite a few.

The king of data is Hans Rosling (@HansRosling), Marcus Eberhardt (@MEDevEcon) has some excellent research datasets. At the World Bank it is worth following Shanta Devarajan (@Shanta_WB), David McKenzie (@dmckenzie001) and Berk Ozler (@BerkOzler12). At the CGD you have Owen Barder (@owenbarder) and Justin Sandefur (@JustinSandefur). Don’t forget Michael Clemens (@m_clem). Marc F Bellemare (@mfbellemare) brings the argricultural economics and Chris Blattman (@cblatts) the political economics.

That is a lot to get you started. I would love some recommendations for this list.

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