Twitter has amazing potential for classroom instructional use. Many students already use it so the only one who might not be fully familiar with it will most likely be the teacher (humor intended). So, using a social media tool which kids already use and like motivates all students to take an active part in any lesson. Even normally quiet students are engaged since silent participation is acceptable. In fact, as such students demonstrate a deeper command of the content, they will be more confident in taking part in class discussions/projects after completing their tweets as well as reading the tweets of others.
TWITTER IN HIGH SCHOOL Notice the use of digital media in this high school. Students are using digital tools which they enjoy-iphotos, blogs, imovie, twitter, etc.. This is a motivator for all. It actually makes learning fun and there is nothing wrong with that. Twitter offers immediate feedback (classroom twitter feed) which is available for as long as the teacher wishes to keep the material available. Ideally, material could be kept there all year in topic folders/lists. Students could review material as needed as well as add ideas using their individual class twitter account. Further, teachers could make the twitter feed available to parents so that they would know everything that is happening in class including important class announcements on tests, projects, readings, homework, etc. It is probably the most efficient way to contact parents since emails don't always work.
Some suggestions for its use? Why not use it for vocabulary building activities? For example, provide sentences where students must use context to determine meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary. Students would have to twitter their guesses on the meaning of the word in say 10 seconds. Since they are limited to 140 characters, they will not be able to be wordy in their responses. Another use might be to put up a photo related to a content area and have students tweet their reactions to the photo. For mathematics, teachers could tweet problems and then time kids to find and post their answers as tweets. The class could then poll the results to see how many had the correct answer. Also, students could challenge responses by other students to document their findings. This would necessitate having kids research the sources from the web which would support their position. In an English class, teachers could pose an open ended question as a check for prior knowledge and have students tweet their reactions in 140 characters or less. Later, the teacher and class could try grouping the responses by topic. This would provide writing support for the weaker students especially (like the ELLs).
Could TWITTER be used in lower grades? Sure. I have seen 4th graders use TWITTER. It can be done.
100 WAY TO USE TWITTER IN CLASS BY DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY
How does a teacher start TWITTER in class? Check out the suggestions in this link. Whether a teacher is a beginner at this or a pro, this site will offer some new ideas for everyone willing to give it a try. If a teacher struggles a bit, s/he only needs to ask a student for help since they are probably already pros at it:)
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