Twitter is a social media platform used by over 126 million people every day. Twitter has gained popularity because of its short bursts of information. At only 280 characters, users can learn bits of information or click a link to learn more extended information on topics ranging from breaking news to what’s trending in entertainment. While it was created as a social media tool, many classrooms are using Twitter to extend learning and connect with students and parents outside of the classroom. Here are 10 ways this popular social media tool can prove helpful in the classroom.
1. Extend Learning
One of the greatest ways to use Twitter in the classroom is to extend learning beyond the classroom walls. Twitter can be used to encourage further learning by empowering students to learn from others on Twitter or even share their knowledge with a global community.
2. As a Research Tool
Twitter can be utilized as a research tool by having students use the search bar. Students can follow relevant hashtags, search for people, topics, and keywords, or even subscribe to a list to learn more information about a specific topic they are researching and learning in school.
3. Get Feedback from Students
If you want an easy way to survey your students and get feedback about your teaching or topics you are teaching, then Twitter is a exceptional tool to use. Students can either tweet you questions or comments or you can tweet a link to a survey for students to complete.
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4. As a Reminder for Student Assignments
There is no better way to remind students of an upcoming assignment, project, or field trip than posting it on social media. Long gone are the days that a student can make up an excuse that they didn’t know when an assignment was due because students can keep up-to-date on all educational information by simply checking their Twitter account newsfeed.
5. Connect with other Classrooms
Teachers can now motivate their students to collaborate with other students by using Twitter. You can even take it a step further by creating your own classroom twitter handle to tweet back and forth with students from across the globe.
6. Keep Parents in the Loop
Today’s parents are busy, and if you want to keep them in the loop about their child’s education, the greatest way to do so can be as easy as tweeting them. If you ask parents to put on their “message alerts,” then you can even privately message them in real-time and speak with them immediately via social media.
7. Help Students Summarize Information
Twitter has a rule that you may not use more than 280 characters in your tweet. This rule is a exceptional way to challenge students to summarize what they learned because it forces them to condense their thoughts into 280 characters or less.
8. Subscribe to Hashtags
Twitter hashtags are keywords or phrases that users use to direct people to the content they are looking for. All you have to do is use the # symbol before your phrase. These hashtags are clickable and direct people to related material about that phrase. You can use hashtags in your classroom by having students search relevant hashtags about what they are learning in the classroom, such as #solarsystem.
9. Create a Classroom Hashtag
Create a classroom hashtag. For example, #mrscoxclass or #C13math. Students and parents can follow this hashtag to keep up-to-date on what’s going on in the classroom. It’s also a exceptional way to find and join groups. Just be sure if you are creating a private group to only give it out to those you want in the group.
10. Keep up with Trends
Twitter in the classroom is a exceptional way to help students keep up with current events and trends. If you find an interesting article, you can share it on Twitter with your students. This can also go for your colleagues as well. It’s a exceptional way to keep your fellow teachers up-to-date on what’s trending.
These are 10 of the most popular ways teachers like to use Twitter in the classroom. Writing a Twitter haiku, tweeting as a historic figure, or editing celebrity tweets are a just a few more ways you can utilize Twitter in the classroom. The options are endless. How will you use Twitter in your classroom?
Janelle holds an MS in Education.