Teaching Tip Tuesday – Twitter in the Classroom

I found this cool document that gives you 29 ways you can use Twitter as a learning tool in your classroom. I think teachers should be embracing technology and bringing it into the classroom. I have found that the students respond really well to it. That is why I hope you will look at this document and see how you can bring Twitter into the classroom.

Here are a few of my favourite ideas from this document. Keep in mind that you can do some of these strategies without having your students actually being online. They can use the Twitter format using pencil and paper or on a word processor.

# 12 Based on a novel or short story – submitted by http://twitter.com/hlvanrip

This strategy involves having students create fictional twitter accounts to write from a specific character’s point of view.

After a study of point of view and character development, students become a character and create a twitter account ex: @janeeyre, @rochester

Students use their study of that character to create conversations around key events in the plot. They can also focus on events and situations that are omitted from the text, but referred to. This way the students are creating their own fiction based on their knowledge of the writer, the time period, and the characters.

# 15 Anagrams – post 8 letters and see how many new words can be formed? – submitted by http://twitter.com/bookminder

This would be a great timed and competitive thing to do. If your students have Twitter accounts, they can see the words other people have posted and will have to try to come up with different words.

# 19 Log Book – While they work on assignments, stimulate your students to tweet and reply about: stuff they learn, difficulties they face, tips they want to share, great resources they find. In this way, Twitter replaces the students logbook. – submitted by http://twitter.com/driesvangils

I think this is incredibly useful. Most people don’t seem to keep any sort of a log. Looking back at my past tweets, I can see that I have do so for some of my writing and I find that it really helps.

# 20 Probability in Math – submitted by http://twitter.com/tombarrett

When learning about probability and the language of chance in mathematics, use your Twitter network to offer a real world response to your questions.

“What are the chances you will see a deer today?”

“What are the chances it will snow where you are?”

With a variety of people in different locations you will hopefully have a variety of different responses.

The author of the document has used this successfully years and raves about the benefits of it. He states, “the different language used in replies provides a great teaching opportunity. From ‘50/50’ to ‘Buckley’s Mate.’ Twitter replies could then be captured, added to a IWB notebook and placed on a probability scale or indeed a map of the origin, sparking further discussion about how this affects the probability of different events.”

# 21 Twalter Egos – submitted by http://twitter.com/geoblogs

This strategy involves creating a fictional alter-ego in Twitter who would develop as a ‘character’ who had a back story. After this had been developed, they could be ‘introduced’ to classes, who could follow, and do activities based on past tweets.

Creating fake people on Twitter and then having students research the tweets sounds like a great idea. You could use it to review concepts that have been taught throughout the year or to introduce new concepts. Sounds good to me.

Here’s a more detailed blog post about it – http://livinggeography.blogspot.com/2009/02/twalter-ego.html

# 22 Scavenger Hunt – submitted by http://twitter.com/CCahillMN

“Have students find websites, pictures, or other online documents that fit a certain criteria related to your subject area. For example, if you are studying China, you could have students locate a map of China before PRC was formed or a narrative account of the Tiananmen Square incident.

Students then post links to Twitter, and once a resource has been posted, it can not be posted by another student/group. This could be used in conjunction with teaching research skills & information literacy and/or as a method for collecting resources.”

Love this idea. I tried to make it work with my classroom blog last year but it wasn’t as successful as I had hoped. Twitter sounds like a much better platform for it.

# 26 – Historical Figures

“Invite your students or classes to generate a Twitter account for a historical figure. For example Samuel Pepys has an account and has been explaining his experiences during the London fires. A hauntingly effective way of gaining insight. This concept could be applied to any time period.

What would an Egyptian Vizier report during the construction of the pyramids?
A nobleman within the court of Henry VIII?”

Try it Out!

I’m glad that I found this document. These are great strategies on using Twitter as an educational tool. I think teachers should be embracing technology and bringing it into the classroom. The students respond really well to using computers. Ideally, I’d like everyone in my class to have a computer so that every question I ask in class could be answered instantly by each student through the use of Twitter. This would be a great tool since it could eliminate shyness. It would also give me some great data to look at to see how well the students are responding to my lessons.

March Break

Since teachers really need to take a well-deserved break, I will not be posting a Teaching Tip next week.   I will be posting regular entries however and this series will return. Never fear!  Enjoy your break!

4 responses to “Teaching Tip Tuesday – Twitter in the Classroom”

  1. Hi Chase .. what a great post – thank you .. and so stimulating .. apart from your ideas for the classroom .. and those in the article – which Ihave yet to go so .. I could see this as a

    1) a creative tool for our own posts .. if people are short of ideas ..

    2) and a way to create some hooks for our own posts, building a little story of the blog to come ..

    So thank you – brilliant idea and tool sheet ..

    Please have a break and enjoy it .. but come back! Cheers Hilary

  2. Hi Hilary,

    I love Twitter. I'm afraid I'm becoming addicted to it. I tweet my blog posts to help drive people here to read them. You have some good ideas here too.