I proposed an idea to the IT department in my district asking if "they" (the Powers that Be) would allow me to experiment with Twitter in the classroom.  I need to come up with a plan on how I would use it with my kids.  If it passes muster, I might be able to use it next year.  

I've read a couple of articles on how teachers use Twitter, but I was wondering if any of you have used Twitter with your students, and if so...how?  

Thanks in advance!

Catherine

 

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I used twitter in my 7th grade world geography classroom while teaching students about Canada. When the students were introduced to the country, I had them write down any question that they had about Canada. The next day, I set up with a friend of mine in Canada to answer our questions. As Students asked their question, I would “@” them or mention my friend the questions, and they would reply the answer. The students really enjoyed the interaction, but unfortunately, I had to limit student questions in my first few class because I wanted each class to participate.

 

in a video we watched in class, from CNN, showed another way twitter can be used in the classroom.. Click here to watch!

I've never used Twitter in my classes because many students still do not have Internet access on their mobiles.  But since I teach and tweet, I do have a couple of suggestions.

 

1. Twitter inside the classroom: Conduct a "normal" class but have students tweeting at the same time.  Setup a projector and computer (with access to the Internet) and project the backchannel on the wall using a decided-upon hashtag.  Incorporate the backchannel into the class itself.  This technique can also provide instant feedback when determining whether students are getting what you are talking about in class or not.

 

2. Twitter outside of class: Conduct a backchannel (again using hashtags) that students contribute to outside of class.  Incorporate the backchannel in the f2f class as needed.  This can also help to see if students are getting it and can contribute to collaborative learning (or colearning) since students can ask questions or complete assignments using Twitter both individually and in groups.  

 

Good luck and please share your experiences!

 

Hi Catherine,

I'm an IT person, not a teacher, but one of our History teachers used it to good effect following the recent events in the Mid-East, specifically the Egyptian Revolution. Each student found 3 or 4 people "on the ground" to follow as well as some news people. They set up a class list which they all followed also, so that they could share information.

On my blog she commented, in part:

" The class was successful in understanding the revolution in real time but also selecting information that comes so aggressively and quickly. I do believe that the challenge of educators (and all people) will not but gathering information but rather using critical skills to select the necessary information at the time and the right amount. Those are the essentials for the future- don’t you think?"

 

I don't know how old your kids are, these were high school. But you could have a twitter list from a search, like #windpower for instance. A twitter fountain could be fun if you can have a computer running it in class.

Thanks for all of your suggestions! I will post what transpires from my brainstorming session. =). I should have something put together by the end of July.

Catherine

At Thesys International, we have not yet used Twitter in the classroom but do have some ideas (including some gathered from others)

  • Send students an opinion poll to get them thinking
  • Direct the students’ attention to new real-time information that may be relevant to the topic currently being worked on in class. Then pose a question for students to consider before the next classroom session.
  • Have students follow someone or an organization to stay current in the topic
  • Send an inspirational quote of the day or week (students need motivation too and quotes are a great source of learning)

We have found this website to be a good source of thinking for learning the use of twitter in education. http://twitterforteachers.wetpaint.com/page/Secondary+School

We do, however, use survey polling tools built into courses that are accessed via cell phone text. Students respond to summary questions live in the classroom. This approach allows us to get real-time feedback on whether or not students understand key concepts (i.e., can the teacher move-on in the material).

 

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