Seven Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom

By University Alliance

Social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter are continuing their rise in popularity and there are no signs of this growth stopping soon, as is evidenced by the 42% of high school students who currently use Twitter. Smart educators who opt to use Twitter in the classroom are sure to see improved student grades as well as creative and positive results in other areas. If you have not entered this realm of social media, it’s easy to pick up on the basics of Twitter and enjoy its benefits for you and your students. 

Here are seven innovative and motivating ways to bring the world of Twitter into your classroom:

1. Communicate with experts in the field

It’s not hard to find subject experts such as historians, mathematicians or authors on Twitter, many of whom would be willing and eager to tweet their expertise with your class. A simple search on Twitter can connect you and your class with experts on any topic you’re studying.

2. Monitor the learning process

Students’ grades improve when everyone is engaged in monitoring the learning process. Get your students involved by asking them to tweet and reply about questions they have, observations they’ve made, and ideas they have about what they’re working on.

3. Create scavenger hunts

Students can search the internet for websites, images and documents that match your rubric or unit objective, and then post these links to Twitter. Once a resource is up, then another group is not allowed to post it, thus motivating the students to work in friendly competition with each other toward a common goal.

4. Track trips and journeys

Twitter can be a fun and educational trip-tracker. From a charity walk to a school field trip, sponsors and supporters can follow you and your students with up to the minute progress. The trip tracker works from your cell phone, can upload geotagged photographs, and will update instantly. Family and friends can be a virtual part of the trip, and the rest of the school can watch developments right from the classroom!

5. Present bite-sized pieces of information

Another great use for Twitter is to teach isolated chunks of information that can be learned in any order and in small amounts. You can set up your own Twitter account dedicated to just one topic, solely for dispensing information, without links or class interaction. 

Some examples of bite-sized information are: study tips, historical facts, music theory, rainy day activities, SAT vocabulary words – anything you can think of!

6. Engage students in current events

Have your students use Twitter to report real-time news events to the class. An example might be to set up an account just for tweeting current events. One idea might be for students to tweet a required amount during a certain time period (two per week, for example), with no two students ever tweeting the same news story.

7. Recreate history

A creative way for students to study history is to research and write imaginary tweets for a historical character. Once they do this, they can use other websites such as HootSuite to schedule the tweets and Wallwisher to post and receive feedback. It’s an engaging method of research and the students will have an audience for the work; this is also an excellent way to collaborate with other classrooms and schools.

Final thoughts

Instead of trying to control your students’ use of social media, embrace it! Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets are excellent teaching tools when it comes to connecting with your students’ interests. By becoming as engaged as they are, you’ll be creating an optimal and motivating learning environment for everyone. 

Content provided by U.S. News University Directory

Category: Technology for Teachers