To Do or Not To Do? Twitter Inside the K12 Classroom

8 08 2012

From time to time, I’ll get a really good question via my website contact form or our ESSDACK contact form and as I write out the response, I wonder if it would be something others would be interested in as well. 

As a bit of an experiment, I’m going to share the email I received (minus the sender’s name) and my response. If you’d like to see more of my Q/A responses on topics ranging from PBL, to gifted students, to all sorts of tech tool integration (I get all types of questions), just give me a comment below and I’ll start doing that more regularly. 

Incoming Message:

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Dear Ginger,
I have discovered that twitter has great science related tweets by
scientists, science news, and science centers.  I’ve been thinking about ways
to share these tweets with my students.  Do you have any suggestions about
using twitter with students, retweeting, etc?  Thanks!

Dear _______,

(sidenote: I know this teacher personally and know she’s a HS teacher in a tech-friendly school)

Thanks for your question. I’ve been a Twitter fan for a long time and am happy to help you figure out how to incorporate it into your kids’ work and learning routines at school!
I’ve grabbed a few articles that outline how teachers are using Twitter in the classroom, from as simple as sending out class assignments, reminders, or announcements, to figuring out how to engage your more introverted students. I personally used it with my students, grades 5-8, on a regular basis. Just one fun things we did was to collaborate with other schools/classes to write a book, one kid and 140 characters at a time! What a story we built!
I also think that when we begin to use these tools in the classroom, we can help kids start to understand and practice good digital citizenship as well. For the first few years, teens weren’t really using Twitter, but in the past couple of years, the number of teens on there has skyrocketed (almost directly correlated with the number of parents who joined Facebook and friended their kids — hmm.)
So I’m glad you’re thinking about this. Here’s a link to the articles I collected for you (via my Diigo account).
The best tip about Twitter I can pass on to you is don’t forget to use the organizational hashtag tool: (#)
The hashtag helps to organize similarly-themed tweets and there are many of them related to education topics. For more information about what a hashtag is, how it’s used, and how to use them for an educational benefit, I’ve collected a few key articles for you (again, via my Diigo account).
If you find you have questions as you venture further into the school year, I’d love to help you work out the kinks.
Just drop me a line any time!
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