There are so many GREAT educators on Twitter and it’s great to connect, learn, and grow from them. One day my class and I tweeted about Greece with someone IN Greece. Now that I have completely embraced Skype in my classroom, I’m realizing even more that global learning adds a whole new wonderful layer to an ordinary day in the classroom. I started thinking, could a Twitter account help us connect to other classrooms, keep our conversations going, learning about weather, cultures, differences, and similarities around the world?
I could use my own Twitter account. But, what about my tweets? I didn’t want to clutter up my classroom page with all of my twitter ramblings. So, I started our own classroom account. Many Twitter apps, including TweetDeck, allow for having multiple accounts and easily switching between the two. In the classroom? I just leave our account logged in at my teacher workstation.
Since I’ve started it, I’ve been following other classrooms and even started a list of Classrooms that Tweet. Now, wait… you might be thinking… there is SO much out there on Twitter that I’d NEVER want my students to read. Of course. But, the great thing about your class page? It only shows the tweets of people you choose to follow. I am only following accounts of other classrooms. I could ‘protect’ the account, but then that takes the whole ‘global learning’ aspect away with one click. The internet is filled with stuff we’d never want our kids exposed to. This makes it even more essential to teach, model, and show them how to be a responsible digital citizen.
Uses for Twitter in the Classroom:
1.) 140 a day Learning Log: Ask a student to tweet “What did we learn today?”
2.) Discuss weather.
3.) Connect with classes on a project.
4.) Look for Skype partners.
5.) Share blog posts and participate in #comments4kids
6.) Model appropriate and productive use of Social Media.
7.) Start a “photo a day” project. Tweet one photo of a project or learning activity every single day.
1.) Don’t feel like you need to watch the feed ALL day. It’s just another tool, not something that will have to take up your day.
2.) Have a conversation with kids about age requirements to have their own account and make it clear that you are not inviting 8 year olds to get a Twitter account. If you want to further explore with each student having their own account, try Twiducate or Edomodo.
3.) Encourage kids to ask questions of other classes. Weather? Current learning topics? Time zones?
4.) Monitor for Spam and report it. I haven’t had this issue yet, because if you don’t follow someone, their Tweet just doesn’t show on your page.
I’m really just starting this journey with my class and I can’t wait to see where it takes us. I just want to prepare my students for the world that we live in: a world that is connected and interactive. It’s one thing to understand where YOU live, but to understand how that compares to where another person lives? That’s learning.
Edited to add: Please add your class Twitter account to our list!