I am writing a series of blog posts related to the integration of technology in the classroom. Each blog post will include practical examples of how to use a specific tool and integrate it into your teaching.
We are living in revolutionary times. It is urgent that we think of education, children and teaching differently from the past. The classroom needs to be a place of innovation where students are able to connect with others, feel empowered and curious and have a say in their learning. Technology provides us with tools to expand our minds and extend our reach (Sir Ken Robinson, 2014).
The first post of the series is: Technology Integration in Education #1: Twitter.
Twitter has 255 million monthly active users and 500 million Tweets are sent each day. It is used by people from all over the world to share and create ideas instantly. Our students aren’t growing up in the dark anymore; this is the world they live in. Hashtags are inescapable, they can be seen on advertisements, your favourite TV show and even the news! They will grow up to use Twitter for social purposes and more than likely, professional reasons as well, that’s if they don’t have an account already. As teachers, it is important that we plan to bring in the skills students are using at home.
More than sharing what you had for dinner, Twitter can be highly beneficial for not only your students and their learning, but for your whole school community.
Twitter in the Classroom
- Ask students a question and have them respond via a Tweet
- All students are able to participate (even the quiet students) and they need to think carefully about what their answer will be.
- Students can work together to create Tweets.
- All students can be heard and are able to share their ideas.
- It encourages them to reflect succinctly (140 characters).
- Students are able to feel important as they can contribute and share links.
- It allows students to build a positive digital footprint.
- The teacher is a positive role model on social media.
- Students are able to learn from each other – their learning isn’t hidden in their books.
- Students need to think about their spelling.
- As students tweet about their learning, they are encouraged to feel proud of themselves.
- Begin slowly by creating a simple Twitter feed on a whiteboard to establish expectations.
- Teachers could be encouraged to tweet during staff meetings and professional development courses.
- Teachers are encouraged to share and collaborate.
- Teachers are able to build their PLN (personal learning network).
- Teachers are learning.
- Teachers are able to share what is happening in their classroom using grade hashtags.
Twitter and Parents
- Parents are able to follow the school account to receive important updates.
- Parents gain an insight into what is happening in the classroom.
- The school is able to share links to useful websites.
- Parents are educated about social media.
- Create a competition which encourages parents to sign up and follow the school Twitter account.
Take a look at the useful websites below for more information and ideas!
- Teach Hub
- 35 Interesting Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom
- 100 Ways to Teach With Twitter
- Using Twitter in Kindy
How do you use Twitter in your school?