According to Twitter they have over 271 million active users and roughly 500 million tweets are sent per day. How can we as teachers use this site for professional development and in the classroom with students? I browsed the internet and was overwhelmed with the ideas that were presented about how to use this resource.
- Twitter as a Bulletin Board - This is a way teachers and students can openly communicate about whats happening in the classroom. For example, if the teacher is going to be out that day, the teacher can tweet at the class they will not to be in that day and to bring a book with them to read that day in class.
- Twitter Recaps - At the end of a class the teacher or an assigned students can give a brief summary about what students learned that day.
- Ask for Help or Advice - This is more so for a teachers professional development, but a teacher can join twitterchats and ask questions or get advice from other teachers or professionals. It's a quick way to connect with teachers all over the world and get new ideas.
- Vocabulary Building - Students can each tweet a sentence using a vocabulary word they had learned that day.
- Conversations Can Continue Outside the Classroom - Students still have questions after the class is over or are having trouble doing their homework. A quick tweet to the teacher or a fellow classmate can clear up whatever trouble they're having.
The site is absolutely worth checking out. They have over 50 other creative ways that teachers can use twitter.
The other site I looked at was Teachers Guide to Using Twitter in the Classroom. They break Twitter down into 3 categories: Connect, Communicate, and Collaborate. "In 140 characters or less educators are connecting with others from around the world to share resources, take part in global discussion, stay informed, give and receive 'just in time' teaching and learning. The same can happen for your students." The photo below is from their website explaining how Twitter can be used in the K-8 classroom.
As you can see, it gives teachers a way to connect with parents, send students reminders, share links with students, and document classroom learning. You can also give students extra credit assignments: post a book recommendation, write a poem, or share something you learned recently. I actually had a professor once on the first day of class have us describe your summer in 140 characters or less. Assignments like this can teach students that quality is more important than quantity. It also helps students learn how to revise. A lot of times you have something you want to say but it's too many characters. You have to think how you can still get your point across but with less words.
This site would be a good one to use if you were going to use twitter in your classroom. It gives a very simple break down of twitter vocabulary, etiquette, quality and a basic how to.