A lot of people have criticized Twitter since they assume that this 140-character microblog does not offer anything valuable to the education industry. However, they are absolutely wrong.
K-12 teachers are using Twitter’s format in keeping their classes engaged and updated with the latest technologies. The following projects can help you and your students in creating significant and lasting lessons using this widespread social network site. Here are 50 ways to use Twitter in the classroom.
1. Tweet about forthcoming due dates or assignments.
One of the easiest ways to use Twitter in the classroom is for teachers to set up a feed exclusively for tests, quizzes, or due dates for their students.
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2. Provide a running news feed to the class.
Subscribing to various independent and mainstream news feeds that offer different prejudices can help the class in comparing and contrasting how these varying perspectives depict current events and issues.
3. Use Twitter in the classroom to make a career list.
Set up an exciting assignment for the students by letting them set up Twitter for education lists. All they have to do is follow feeds that are related to their career goals then keep a record of any trends that might emerge along the way.
4. Keep track of memes.
Justin Bieber’s popularity is just so insane, but it’s good to know that at least there is an educational opportunity sneaking around the corner. Teachers who are very much concerned about sociology and communication issues would be glad to know that they can easily find various lessons on ideas engaging Twitter for teachers and trends spread throughout various media sources.
5. Coordinate assignments.
Instead of using email in keeping up with their assignments, students can use Twitter to collaborate on various projects and keep a record of any changes.
6. Track a hashtag.
Enthusiastic instructions would be interested in incorporating Twitter in their lessons that keep track of hashtags for another exciting lesson in how trends spread as well as the different ways on how people use social media in communicating ideas.
7. Join the community.
You can collaborate with charitable organizations or your local government and use education Twitter in reaching out to a wider audience and discuss the latest educational and cultural events in the area and inspire others in the community to attend.
8. Follow the issues.
Incorporate a bit of technology into debates by asking your students which issues they would like to follow. Subscribe to related hashtags and accounts from various perspectives and organise an updated resource putting together as much research as you can.
9. Write a poem or a story.
A lot of writers and poets have taken the challenge of writing 140-character format on Twitter to create new, serialized works in small parts to grab attention from audiences. A few teachers may appreciate the idea of asking their students to use their creative writing skills and apply them into a restrictive social media platform such as Twitter.
10. Live tweet field trips.
When the class is having a field trip, then parents would surely love the idea of following their kids in these class field trips on Twitter. At the same time, teachers who are using smartphones can keep them engaged by taking pictures and describing the lessons learned.
11. Ask questions.
One of the teachers at the University of Texas-Dallas, Monica Rankin, keeps track of the questions from her students through Twitter. These questions were streamed during her lectures. The good thing about this is that this application can run in any computer-enabled K-12 classroom.
12. Set up a foreign language news stream.
Foreign language students can keep themselves updated with the current events from different countries. At the same time, you can encourage them to use their translation abilities by keeping a particular news feed.
13. Relevant for role plays.
Computer-savvy instructors can keep their history lessons more interesting by encouraging kids to tweet quotes and ideas from their favourite figures. Another alternative would be to let them pretend that they are one of the popular fictional characters.
14. Take and share notes.
Classrooms which have sufficient resources can permit their students to tweet their own notes while the lessons are going on so it can be shared with their peers. Maybe they can even print them out for home use just in case they do not have internet access.
15. Sync with a blog.
Free blogging websites such as WordPress can sync with Twitter, where you could post notifications of your new entries. Instructors who are asking their students to create their own blogs can use Twitter in following up updates instead of clicking the bookmarks for each one.
16. Communicate with industry professionals.
Before going to college, older high school students can explore their career options by having real-world discussions with professionals who are on the same path that they are considering. Twitter can help these students in connecting to primary sources and in promoting educational communication.
17. Connect classrooms.
Twitter allows students and instructors from different parts of the world to collaborate on projects. Students from different classrooms and cultures are given education by communicating on Twitter.
18. Facilitate research.
When keywords are entered into Twitter’s search engine, it will give you all the microblog entries on that particular subject. This means that this is a great way for students to do some research on opinions, ideas and movements as they happen.
19. Engage parents.
Twitter is ideal for parents of K-12 students who are interested in learning about the daily classroom activities of their kids. By following the tweets of the teacher, they will know the lessons that are discussed as well as the progress of their projects. All of these can be done quickly by going to a dedicated Twitter feed.
20. Be politically active.
Educators who want to educate their students about government or politics can encourage them to use Twitter as a forum. In this way, society will notice the issues that have greatly affected them. All they have to do is simply retweet the significant news, events, blogs, and other media that are related to a certain subject that they have chosen.
21. Track the government.
Most local and national government organisations keep their own Twitter feeds. Moreover, educators who are interested in any of these subjects can compile them all and place them in an appropriate space for quick reference.
22. Write reviews.
The Twitter format can also be used by any classes for media studies including literature. Educators can ask their students to write micro-reviews for various types of books, movies, and music.
23. Post sample questions.
By using Twitter to post sample questions for future exams for students to research, educators can save a lot of paper. In this way, students will never have to put down their computers.
24. Post supplementary materials.
Teachers can consider retweeting news, ideas, articles, as well as any other interesting bits of information that are significant to a particular class, making this a convenient, unique supplement to classroom lectures.
25. Facilitate discussions.
After posting these supplementary materials, you can take them one step further by asking students to post their own brief responses to the main arguments and encourage intelligent discussions with one another.
26. Play the stock market game.
Stock market games are often used by high school economics teachers as real-world projects that involve the basic fundamentals of investing. Students can take advantage of using Twitter by following the markets, businesses and analysts which help them in making smart decisions when it comes to their (fake) money.
27. Live tweet a movie or a book.
As teachers, you can ask your students to use the microblog format of Twitter in posting their primary responses and reactions to books and movies as they are enjoying them. It can absolutely make an excellent lesson in how thoughts change over time as more and more ideas and information become available.
28. Make recommendations.
Teachers may like the idea of using Twitter to talk about books, movies, and documentaries at home where students and parents can both participate. This can be beneficial for both students and parents since this can help the kids in performing well in high school and college. The involvement of the parents can likely have a tremendous effect on the student’s education as well as their lives.
29. Plan field trips.
When planning field trips, you can get the parents engaged by asking their opinions about the place where to go and what to avoid. Although, it is quite impossible to please everyone yet parents will surely appreciate the transparency as well as the knowledge of what their kids are doing and learning in school.
30. Design a background.
Twitter can also be advantageous for art classes. Art teachers may appreciate the idea of asking their students to show their creativity by designing backgrounds for their family and friends. They can either do this digitally or by making use to traditional media then, later on, they can scan them into the computer
31. Compare religions.
Twitter is also used by various religious institutions and figures in discussing their beliefs and teachings. Liberal arts educators can take advantage of this by comparing and contrasting the different religions that have moulded humanity ever since the beginning.
32. Post syllabus changes.
Oftentimes, important messages in e-mail inboxes are being filtered out as junk. This is one of the reasons why most students miss their class or lose their papers. This means that these students have missed out relevant announcements pertaining to the changes in the syllabus. With Twitter, you can assure that it retains a permanent record of every bit of information in order to assure that no one will have an excuse for missing out.
33. Take a poll.
Instructors who love to take a poll with their students with regards to the activities that they like to do as well as their opinions on current events can keep track of the results when working in connection with SurveyMonkey or other sites similar to this.
34. Connect with Google Earth.
By combining Twitter and Google Earth, a lot of educators will be able to teach human and physical geography lessons creatively. All they have to do is use the location feature of Twitter and they can learn more about the new places around the globe.
35. Teach probability.
An instructor has found a creative way of introducing the basics of probability to his students by asking a general question and creating a chart base on the replies that he received through @ replies.
36. Go on a scavenger hunt.
The good old online scavenger hunt can be narrowed down so it can only cover Twitter. You can even vary the degree of difficulty base on the age range of the students. With much older kids, adding the challenge of solving riddles taken from their lessons will be greatly appreciated.
37. Get a little bit postmodern.
English instructors can encourage their students to use Twitter by asking them to gather and edit relevant stories based on pre-existing tweets by other users.
38. Channel that inner Lois Lane.
With Twitter, you can let journalism students experience the world of microblogging by asking them to poll fellow students or asking expert questions which they can use on their assignments about opinions, trends, research, and current events.
39. Track weather patterns.
Gather Twitter feeds that talk about the weather in different areas. Afterwards, present a chart to the class showing the findings on Google Earth or Google Maps. While you are doing this, you can take note of the patterns that will come up along the way.
40. Create a character.
Instructors who are teaching English or creative writing can ask their students of all ages to make up their own story character. Each person is expected to contribute a sentence or two for the back story or personality of the character. Afterwards, teachers can then let the students write their own stories based on the literary figure that they’ve created.
41. Create a progressive poem.
Just like the collaborative character that was created above, teachers can also let their students organise their own poetry where every individual can freely contribute one line each and make sure that it flows accurately with the one that was written before.
42. Play word games.
Challenge kids by letting them solve anagrams, give synonyms or antonyms or provide a definition of any spelling or vocabulary words. This is an alternative way of letting these kids get more involved in their language lessons.
43. Post math puzzles.
Physics, chemistry, or math teachers should not feel left out when it comes to posting teasers or playing games on Twitter. Just like their literature counterparts, they could also microblog a problem then let the students solve them and tweet back the answer.
44. Post videos.
Instructors who have access to digital video cameras could try using Twiddeo when posting clips of travel escapades, in-class skits, details of field trips, and any other things which are related to their students’ lessons.
45. Create an online art gallery.
By using Twitter, students who specialise in art and the humanities will be able to create their own show depending on the time periods, creators, regions, movements, or thematic elements that they have chosen. Let your students show the world what they believe is appropriate for a specific exhibit.
46. Play with TweetStats.
With TweetStats, users can simply input a particular account name and they can already see the microblog’s activity through a bar graph. Students can look for tweeps in their city or school and collect data on when and how their neighbours use Twitter.
47. Network with other educators.
Aside from using it for their lessons, educators can also find a vast network of professionals whom they can exchange ideas and insights with when it comes to social networking in the classroom as well as any other topics.
48. Direct message students and parents.
Since e-mail filtering frequently sends important messages to the trash can, then educators could try talking to their students and their parents privately through direct message feature on Twitter.
49. Join #educhat
If you want to connect with other educators and keep yourself updated with the latest trends and philosophies about education then you can simply subscribe to the #educhat hashtag and participate with the community.
At the end of every lecture, teachers can ask their students to create a summary of what they have learned. The summary should contain 140 characters or less. Or maybe you can consider asking any questions for the next class.
There are a lot of ways that educators can use Twitter in the classroom, in fact, it is limited only by their imagination. Although some people believe that its limitations restrict relevant applications to an educational setting, however, smart educators have recognised that incorporating Twitter in education can encourage a nurturing classroom for students of all ages.