I have been a Twitter member since 2010 and I remember creating my account just because I had heard that it was a great social network that was getting pretty popular. However, I never really got into it until the beginning of this year’s NHL season. I started following Hockey insiders from various sport news outlets like TSN, ESPN, RDS and SB Nation. I did not have many subscriptions but I had what I needed in order to stay up to date with all the latest news from the NHL. Moreover, I gradually started to learn the way Twitter works and to take advantage of its great features.
Here I am, 8 months later, and all I use is Twitter. This is the best thing I have discovered since Ketchup and I really, really love Ketchup. I now follow many different people, companies, and movements and it is a joy to scroll through the tweets feed with all the latest and greatest things the world talks about. This had me thinking: Twitters offers so much (see endless) possibilities, I could as well integrate it in my future teaching career. So this is what I want to talk about: the many ways to use Twitter in the classroom.
First of all, Twitter is the ultimate tool to connect with the things and the people you like. It might seem like it can be a waste of time, but its organizational structure renders this social network a major educational tool.
There are countless ways to use Twitter in classrooms. With Twitter, it is easy to set up a feed dedicated exclusively to due dates, tests or quizzes. You can also coordinate assignments and share notes. You really have the possibility to get creative with this tool, and push an idea forward. Twitter can facilitate many aspects of your teaching like when posting materials and article, and on top of that, students will always have an easy access to all those links and posts. The interactions with the students will get richer and more dynamic as the year advances. Thanks to the hashtag system, you will always have something new to bring to the table and your lessons will stay fresh, relevant, and stimulant every week. Twitter did not make is way to the top of the results of the 7th Annual Learning Tools Survey for nothing. With Twitter, you can bring authentic conversation with your students, connect them to real-world problems, and expand the boundaries of learning.
Additionally, it has been said that Twitter actually increases in-class participation from students. “Fortunately, educators have found that Twitter is an effective way to broaden participation in lecture. Additionally, the ubiquity of laptops and smartphones have made the integration of Twitter a virtually bureaucracy-free endeavor“. Moreover, digital communication seems to help overcoming shyness barrier.
Twitter definitely is a powerful tool. Let’s embrace it.