Students on Twitter: Social Media in the Classroom

By Monica Burns 07.28.2014 blog
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Twitter is becoming an increasingly popular tool in the education space. Some teachers have been using this social media platforms for years. They post the great work taking place in their classroom, connect with like-minded educators, and locate resources to share with their students. Educators are now sharing their passion for Twitter and other social media tools by introducing it to their students.

At first glance it might seem like a stretch to include Twitter in a lesson or school activity. All you need to do is dive in and explore how innovative educators are leveraging this tool to engage their students. You’re sure to find a few ways that it can fit into your practice and teaching style.

Twitter can be used to teach students about digital citizenship. Teens can explore how journalists and pop culture figures are using this tool to connect with their audience. Using these real world examples, teachers can facilitate discussions on the importance of using social media appropriately and the consequences of every tweet and post.

Educators who understand the power of connecting with their own personal learning network are finding ways to get their students involved in social media. Some schools are instituting Twitter Tuesday’s where teachers tweet on behalf of their students in response to a question, prompt or theme. Kids can take control of their class’ account and participate in a school wide discussion.

When a current events issue or significant moment takes place during the school day you can use Twitter to bring real world discussions into your classroom. You hand pick a selection of tweets, create a list of news organizations to follow, or search by a particular hashtag. Twitter can give context to your students as they explore a news story.

If your students have posted a project on a blog, were featured in a school newspaper, or published stories online you can share their work on Twitter. Reach out to subject matter experts in a field that your students are studying to tell them about your class. Connect on Twitter with teens across the country who are investigating the same problem or reading the same book as your students. This will help engage your students and demonstrate the importance of fostering connections and using social media effectively.

In a BYOD or one-to-one program where students are allowed to have their own Twitter accounts, encourage them to tweet during a lecture or guest speaker using a hashtag created for the event. If you are worried that they won’t be able to stay alert and engaged during a presentation pause a few times and ask students to take out their device to share a quote, question, or thought from what they’ve heard.

Twitter is a powerful tool in many industries including education. Try using this social media platform to connect your students to the world. You’ll create global citizens who are eager and ready to share what they have learned and discover the answers to their own questions.

Do you have an idea of how Twitter could be used in your classroom? Share it in the comments below!

Monica Burns is an Education Consultant, EdTech Blogger, and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

comments

  1. Anonymous

    You spelled school wrong near the bottom

  2. Sydney Starr

    I think it should not be used in the classes because it might lead the teachers to other social media cites. And it could just start more drama in schools, outside of schools, and against people.

  3. Raymond Wealing

    i think it should used in class because it can be used to share resources and homework on the go

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