Strategies for Engaging Students in the Classroom Using Twitter

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Photo Credit: "twitterclassroom" an image remix by brunsell on Flickr.

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Why DoWe Ask Kids to Unplug in School?Why do we ask kids to unplug in school? Photo Credit: Flickr 4

Engaged Students Are Not Easily DistractedPhoto Credit: Courtesy of Pixabay5

Moving From Distraction Photo Credit: Courtesy of Flickr 6To Discussion

Photo courtesy of Flickr 7

We Need to Be Developing Digital Citizens!Twitter in the classroom helps students to hone skills that their generation needs for the future. They learn to be concise, to engage in online dialogue about serious and important topics, and how to form an opinion in real-time based on up-to-the-minute information from differing viewpoints. This generation may be the first to master the art of posting respectful, deeply considered ideas in real-time in 140 characters. Source: The Atlantic Use of Twitter raises student awareness of what it means to be a good digital citizen and how to develop a positive digital footprint. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.8

Technology supplements great instruction; it does not supplant it!Photo Credit: Flickr

What Happens in a Twitter Minute?1,211,420 347,222 4,398 700 1081,211,420 twitter searches; 347,222 tweets sent; 4,398 people visit; 700 video links are shared; 108 new accounts are created. Source: Media Bistro 10

Getting StartedBegin with Twitter 101. Find group of interested colleagues and choose one day to tweet. Plan a Tweet Up with fellow teachers before school or after school. Discuss the why of Twitter with students. Consider questions like, How can we use Twitter to communicate with others in our school and beyond? and How can that be beneficial for us as learners? Establish Twitter Tuesdays Teachers and students discuss a pre-determined topic. When tried in Chicago Public Schools older students began to see themselves as role models for younger students and younger students felt like they had a voice. Source: 7 Ideas for Using Twitter in the Classroom 11

AUPandSocial Media PolicyResponsible Use Considerations What policies are already in place; cyberbullying; responsible use agreement; parental consent; student assent. Who will be tweeting teacher on behalf of students; one student scribe (classroom job); all students? Understand: blocking, following, privacy. Cybrarymans AUP Page: Photo source: Flickr 12

Create a Twitter-Driven School CultureSource: EdutopiaModel using Twitter, Offer encouragement to fellow teachers, encourage use of Twitter as a backchannel at meetings & PD, Create a Speaker Series about the power of Twitter, Conduct a Twitter chat for staff to participate, Create Twitter team - Twitter team could survey staff, create goals, provide incentives; such as, highlighting most improved Twitter user, #FF to recognize a staff member, get local businesses to donate products. Photo Credit: Flickr

Reserve aTwitter ID for Your ClassroomPhoto courtesy of Pixabay.14

Bringing Twitter to the ClassroomSource: The AtlanticClear idea with administration, parental permission slips, set up a culture of respect & open dialogue, set up each student (MS/HS) with a Twitter username (Source: The Atlantic) Photo Credit: Pixabay

BYOTPhoto courtesy of Pixabay.16K

Start Early

As early as kindergarten, use paper tweets, Twitter bulletin boards, nametags with Twitter @Username. Could be incorporated into Circle Time. Photo courtesy of Flickr 17


Kindergarten/1st Grade. Write answer to a daily question on a paper Twitter bird cut-out and place on a Bulletin Board Tree in the classroom or hallway. Photo courtesy Flickr: Twitter bird courtesy of Pixabay:

Microblog of Classroom EventsHelpful for students who may not be in school or to let parents share in/see classroom activities. 19

CollaborationCollaborate with other classes within your school and globally; other teachers and staff in your PLN; parents; absent students; your community. Photo source: CC20

Tweet Around the WorldTweet to other classrooms around the world! Photo Credit: Flickr ADD Sprites Site to Slide21

Chat with an ExpertTeacher contacts and arranges chat with an expert in a particular field in which students are studying. Students can tweet questions directly to the person. No additional technology needed. Photo Credit: NASA

Twitter Chats

School-wide: Weekly or monthly students discuss topic of interest to the entire school. Teachers tweet on students behalf, if necessary. Suggested topics: Digital Citizenship. Online Safety. Multi-class chats: Tweet between classrooms in different buildings or between grades. Photo courtesy of Pixabay: 23

1 Hour a Week 6PM 7PMFridaysAssign students to monitor #gtchat to learn about the flow of a chat.24

BackchannelStudents can tweet their questions during a lecture/presentation without interrupting the speaker. Provides way to increase engagement with shy students. Also provides an automatic archive of the presentation. Photo Credit: NASA 25

Live Tweet Field TripsPhoto Courtesy of Flickr CC BY 4.0

Teachers can live tweet from a field trip and even add pictures! This could benefit students who are unable to attend or to inform and engage parents in their childrens school life. Photo Courtesy of Flickr CC by 4.0.

Foreign Language News Stream

Foreign language students can follow hashtags about a current event in another country or by creating lists of people to follow in those countries. They can use their translation skills for tweets in other languages. 27

WeathermanSet up a class Twitter feed. Connect with students globally. Track weather via tweets and chart the findings. Photo source: flickr

Digital Classroom NewspaperStudents can create weekly newspapers via Twitter apps such as by curating links in tweets based on a particular topic.29Project-based Learning

#PBLStudents can create their own hashtag for their group to make collaboration transparent and accessible. Can also be used for individual projects. Photo courtesy of flickr 30

Literary CharactersStudents create a Twitter Profile for either a literary character from a book or one from a story they wrote. They can tweet as that character by telling how the plot impacts their character, what the character wants to happen in the story or what the character fears most. Photo Source:

Literary AnalysisStudents can tweet an analysis of a specific literary elements effect on a current reading selection. Then share with classes in other schools or even countries. Photo Credit Flickr 32Succinct Summaries140 CharactersUse Twitter to get your students to be more succinct on their summaries of literary works by tweeting their summaries.33

Have students collaborate on writing a story one tweet at a time! Photo Credit: Flickr

Chat With an AuthorTeacher can contact a specific author and set a time for students to ask questions about writing or a particular book. To extend the lesson, you could create a bulletin board by printing out the best tweets from the author. This would replace the practice of writing to an author in expectation of each student receiving a reply. Easier for all parties involved; less hassle; lower cost/no additional cost. Twitter does not require cameras/sound equipment as does Skype. Photo Source: Twitter Find authors like Judy Blume, Lemony Snicket, John Green (The Fault in Our Stars), Maureen Johnson (13 Little Blue Envelopes), Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book), and Libba Bray (The Deviners). 35College Selection Process

Have students follow accounts of universities and their students to learn about potential colleges in which theyre interested and to find out the latest news about the college.36

Outside of Class DiscussionsExtend classroom discussions outside the time constraints of a class period to give more time for questions about the topic or assignments. Build community. Photo Credit: Flickr C.C. 37

In Class DiscussionsHave students discuss class material via Twitter. This often will give voice to the kid who never raises their hand. Remind students that their comments can be seen by anyone following their account/classroom account or hashtag if used. Photo courtesy of Pixabay:

Create a News FeedFollow media accounts/journalists on Twitter. Photo Source: Flickr 39

Create Word CloudsCreate word clouds from select Twitter streams to evaluate diction, tone and audience. Photo source: 40

Metacognitive/Reflective ActivitiesHave students report on self-learning throughout the day, articulate difficulties they may have with content presented or assignments, and/or recap most valuable lessons of the day. This fosters critical thinking. It also provides a source for ongoing assessment. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.41Theorize Cause-Effect Relationships of Trending Topics

Twitter Research: Gather Real-World DataPut a shout out (tweet) to your Twitter network for