Twitter in the Classroom-#ANewFrontier

December 4, 2014

I recently conducted a Workshop on the Use of Twitter in Education. It was interesting to find that the sentiments of participants ranged from either never having used it, or; having tried it and walked away. I believe it would be safe to say this would be the sentiment of many, particularly those not of the millennial generation. As I become more and more familiar with Twitter, I realize there is still much I do not understand. However, as an educator I have found that Twitter is a treasure trove stocked full of Educational resources buried within a space which fosters collaboration, and networking. With that said I would like to provide a few examples of how some Educators are using Twitter to really enhance and ignite classroom learning:

  1. Set up Twitter Pals’ via a “Classroom Twitter Account.” Encourage students to find a Twitter ‘penpal’ and regularly converse with them over a period of time to find out about their culture, hobbies, friends, family etc. Ideal for learning about people from other cultures.
  2. ‘Time Tweet’ Choose a famous person from the past and create a twitter account for them – choose an image which represents the historical figure and over a period of time write regular tweets in the role of that character, in a style and using the vocabulary you think they would have used (e.g. William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar).
  3. ‘Twitter Shadowing’ Follow a famous person and document their progress. Better still if this can be linked to an event (During the recent U.S. Presidential elections, many people followed @BarackObama and kept up to date with his speeches, etc).
  4. There is a whole community of writers and poets who already use Twitter to share their micropoems with the world, using hashtags like #poetweet or #micropoem. The social network could be a great way of encouraging students to write.
  5. Create a scavenger hunt together with Google Earth or Google Maps to teach students about geography.
  6. Teachers can easily collaborate with each other on Twitter too, exchanging ideas and teaching tools. With the use of a hashtag, it’s easy for any group of people to connect on Twitter so why not teachers? The hashtags #edchat, #nebedu and #edtech give you instant access to links, thoughts and tweets from educators from all over the world. You can even connect to educators in distinct Content areas via hashtags such as #teachecon, #reading, and #math.