Many teachers use Twitter to connect and collaborate, often utilizing the popular #edchat hashtag. Beyond the importance of professional growth that comes from this kind of networking, Twitter can also hold great benefits in its use with students at all grade levels.
Why use Twitter in the classroom? First and foremost, students find it unique and engaging. With the right meaningful curriculum connections, classroom participation and collaboration rise. Conversations are no longer limited to four classroom walls or 50-minute time slots. Students can engage with notable figures: religious leaders, local and national politicians, activists, authors, and experts in any given field.
Elementary (K-5) – Even if these students aren’t tweeting for themselves, you can utilize Twitter as a positive resource! Follow leaders, authors, scientists from a general classroom account. Encourage students to share their questions with these notables, and send them a message together!
Middle School (6-8) – Middle schoolers crave to have their thoughts and opinions heard, but are often shy about sharing in class. Twitter tackles the fear of speaking in front of the class.
- Correct celebrity grammar. Unfortunately, not all Twitter users have the greatest grammar skills. Turn the typically daunting task of proofreading into a fun and useful activity!
- Compose short stories. Take comprehension and creative writing to the next level by encouraging students to create 140 character stories. Students will think critically about word choice, tone, and style!
High School (9-12) – Capitalize on the social nature of high school to excite even the most cynical of student.
- Live tweet a field trip. Students can microblog their adventures for other students, teachers, and parents. It’s a great way to have students examine the greater purpose of a trip, beyond “getting out of class.”
- Track class discussions with a unique hashtag. By creating a hashtag for your classroom, you can get instant feedback from multiple students at once. Take this outside the classroom by discussing significant news events, like the State of the Union Address!
At any age:
- Connect with other classrooms studying the same topics. • Engage and communicate with parents.
- Create an online gallery of student art work or classroom accomplishments. Be sure to have parent permission and refrain from posting student’s full name.
With any social media or internet usage, it’s critical to model, teach, reteach, and reinforce good digital citizenship. Be the digital leader of your classroom and students will follow your example.
For more information on using social media in the classroom, be sure to consult your school’s acceptable use policy and parental consent forms.
Do you tweet, either professionally or in the classroom? Connect with us on Twitter @snarkystyle and let us know how you incorporate this social media platform in creative ways!