Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Using Twitter in Education

Do you tweet? Well, I think you should. We have all heard of twitter. It is everywhere. Browse the internet and you are sure to find the little twitter bird all over the place. Twitter is such a simple concept, why didn't I think of it?? Anyway, if you are not familiar with twitter, here's the jist: Imagine a giant piece of paper. When a person "tweets," it is like they are writing that tweet on that piece of paper. Each time the person tweets something new, each previous tweet gets bumped down for the new one at the top. Besides your own giant piece of paper, you can also look at other people's "tweets." Whatever you want to say on twitter, it must be done in 140 or less. So who sees your insightful comments (tweets)? Well, anyone who "follows" you. In education, I think twitter can be a very useful tool, for many reasons. Here are three ways twitter can be used in education. 
1. Teacher tweets: I use my twitter account for school. I post my twitter feed on my blog so my students can easily see and read my tweets without having to go to twitter or have their own account. So, what do I tweet? Well, I often tweet about what we did in class, pieces of information about a topic, upcoming assignments/news.
2. "Follow" educators: Twitter is a great place for sharing. Many, many teachers and educators tweet ideas, suggestions, tips, etc. Twitter is a great place to develop your PLN: Personal Learning Network. Follow other twitter users to gain a way to gather good resources.
Twitter accounts I follow:

3. Use "hash tags" to find tweets. There are tons of stuff being tweeted about education. Find tweets on any educational topic by using the "#" symbol. For example: #edtech or #ipad. 
4. Have your students write "tweets" to summarize, describe something. Having the students only be able to use 140 characters forces them to be concise with their words. 

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