For Your Students…
1. Get Creative
Twitter is a great way to explore creative thinking and exciting ways of expressing yourself in a limited space. Use a class Twitter account to send out a tweet written by each student on the same theme and see whose gets the most responses and retweets, then analyse what was successful! Was it humour, alliteration, rhyme, intelligence, wit, clever hash tag use? A great way to learn about marketing and mass media!
2. Stay Connected
When going on class trips or school exchanges, Twitter can be a fantastic tool to keep connected to the classroom. One class can use a common account to tweet news, updates and photographs back to their classmates at home, or individual students can use their own devices to contribute to a common hash tag during their trip, creating a communal documentation project that can be displayed when you get back to school.
3. Learn and Discover
Twitter can be a great research tool, particularly for a project on current affairs. Let students use it to explore how differently events can be perceived and reported from different points of view, or have them follow a particular hash tag or online campaign to learn about the power of social media and communication.
4. Meet Virtual Classmates
Twitter is a great way to allow your class to connect with other learners across the globe. Tons of schools now have class blogs with connected Twitter accounts and are keen to correspond with students in different countries. It’s a great way to exchange information and learn about different cultures, belief systems and countries.
5. Find Inspiration
Twitter is almost unlike any other tool in the access it grants students to get close to their heroes. A ‘find your hero’ exercise is a great way to allow pupils to use Twitter as a resource to find inspirational people, young and old, who share their interests or backgrounds and become motivated and inspired by them. Being able to follow them for regular updates and even tweet them questions gives a fantastic feeling of real closeness that can help pupils to feel involved and engaged.
6. Make Contacts
Twitter is one of the richest resources on the web for networking with like-minded educators – use it to create a PLN (personal learning network) that extends far beyond the reach of your school or even country. Learn from the best about exciting new advances in the world of education technology and find out about top resources the moment they’re available.
7. Get Involved
Twitter isn’t only a source of one-way information – it’s also a great forum for debate and discussion. Get involved with organised weekly forums like the #eltchat or #edchat and you’ll find yourself in the middle of fast-paced, exciting, whirlwind conversations about the latest, most important questions in education and technology. This is a great place to pick up edtech tips and ideas.
8. Ask Questions
One of the best things about the edtech community on Twitter is that they’re a really active, vocal bunch! The more you put in, the more you’ll get out, so don’t be afraid to get stuck in and raise questions and issues, or float ideas – you’ll be sure of an enthusiastic reception and a whole host of varied ideas in response!
9. Research Tools
If there’s a new site or resource you’re thinking about using in class, Twitter provides a fantastic opportunity to gauge others’ opinions and feedback about how it has worked out for them. A great way to save time on trawling through resources – let the Twitter consensus narrow it down to the top few and then you can decide which would be best for your students!
10. Keep Track
With the wealth of EdTech resources now available online, it is increasingly difficult to keep a single record of all the different tools and pages you want to remember to check out or use again in the future. Few sites have as clear and simple a method of collecting such references as Twitter’s ‘favourite’ function, which allows you to swiftly flag tweets you want to remember to read later or those with links to great resources you want to keep a record of.
How do YOU use Twitter as an EdTech Tool? Let us know (and share your tips with other educators) using the comments box below!
Feature image courtesy of Flickr, id-iom.