Using Twitter in Your Classrooms 2013 yields hundreds of ways to enhance a classroom experience and get otherwise weary, unengaged students to willingly dive into the topic at hand. Perhaps the most popular tool recently has been Twitter.
The social media tool allows students to create a temporary online forum about anything. From high school to higher ed, tweets are being used to start a discussion and maintain the dialogue and offer insights about learning that go beyond the class rooms. Twitter allows people all over the world to discuss a single topic and allows all interested participants to view the posts by attaching a common hashtag at the end of each post. The network is ideal for distance learning in which students might be in different states or even different countries. The forum allows discussion and sharing long after the class is through, eventually developing a deeper knowledge and perhaps, interest on the subject.
A few guidelines must be remembered when implementing Twitter in the classroom:
- The students must be required to participate. The discussion cannot be prompted as an option. Set expectations upfront, whether they must tweet a certain time per discussion or come to some type of conclusion in the process.
- The teacher must also participate. The students need to know that you're monitoring and engaging in the discussion, as well, to pull the best out of them. Clearly define you're hashtags and discuss accessibility for private profiles. Every tweet doesn't need to be read or responded to. The act just gives the students a chance to explore the topic and open up more than they normally would in a comfortable, convenient setting. Create the guidelines, pick a hashtag and tweet away. The search bar will open a whole new side to your students.