Tech Tip Tuesday: Use Twitter in the Classroom

by Kristie Burk

While some educators in the Downingtown Area School District are using Twitter to spread announcements about their schools, very few teachers are using Twitter in their classes.  If you have a few minutes this week, consider adding a classroom activity using Twitter.

First, teachers can create new Twitter accounts for different purposes, such as one where students can tweet contributions to an ongoing story; educators could also design a Twitter account for a character and ask students to personify that character with their Tweets.

In addition, teachers can use a Twitter account for a number of classroom activities:

  • Hold virtual office hours using a hashtag specific to your class.
  • Hold an optional online chat at a particular time on a course topic.
  • Allow students to tweet questions during class.
  • Tweet reminders about assignments or due dates.
  • Ask students to follow industry leaders as part of an assignment and then report back on their findings.
  • Use tweets like an exit ticket; ask students to summarize important parts of the lesson with a hashtag.  (These tweets can be used later for review.)
  • Require students to use Twitter as part of a research project.  (Be sure to teach them how to cite a tweet properly.)
  • Invite guest speakers to tweet to the class.
  • Utilize the 140 character limit by asking students to summarize text or other important material.
  • Have students watch an event live (such as a presidential debate for a social studies class) and tweet their reactions in real-time.
  • Require World Language students to tweet in a different language.

If you’ve thought of an interesting way to use Twitter in the classroom, let us know! Just a few words of warning, though.  First, educators should always keep their professional Twitter accounts separate from any personal accounts. Second, Twitter should not be used with students under 13. Finally, if some students are not allowed to have a Twitter account, consider using Today’s Meet instead.

 

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