Using Twitter in the Classroom

Grades: Any
Summary: See what Twitter is, and how other teachers are integrating it into their classrooms.

Twitter in the ClassroomTwitter is a social microblogging site that enables users to create social and professional learning networks. This free service allows you to share in short, 140 character phrases an answer to the question: "What you are doing?" You can also follow other Twitter users to see what they are doing. The limit of 140 characters requires users to be concise and to the point. Twitter is an informal way of staying in touch with others. One thing I like to share with people is that you DON'T have to have a Twitter account to follow others...you just need to know their user name. For example, you can follow The Teacher's Corner (user name is teachercorner) by visiting this URL: http://twitter.com/teachercorner

Watch this "Twitter in Plain English" video to learn the basics.

Educators have been using Twitter longer than the mainstream public, but just recently it's made a move into classrooms around the world. You may "Tweet" outside of school with friends, family, news organizations, celebrities, but have you thought about using it in your classroom? Below I have included a number of resources that will help you get registered and Tweeting in no time! And as I mentioned above, if you are using Twitter as a way to communicate with parents, they don't have to have a Twitter account. You just need to provide them with the URL of your classroom's Twitter page.

Some quick ideas for using Twitter in your classroom:

  1. Give your students (or parents) your 'teacher' twitter account URL. Then use this to easily communicate quick reminders about homework or tests. They don't need a twitter account to see your tweets.
  2. Have students use @replies to return questions to the teacher. This allows everyone to see the questions and the responses!
  3. Remember: All info you put on twitter can be seen by anyone, unless you use the DM option to Direct Message another twitter user.

Find other great Twitter projects, activities and ideas to use in your classroom below!

K-3 Teachers Guide to Twitter
Even though this site has K-3 in the title, it is a great resource for all grade levels to get started.

Twitter 101 for Education
Another good resource to get you informed on the basics of Twitter and getting started. (Includes some other great links at the end of the article.)

The Kindergarten Twitter Project
The idea is to have kindergarten classrooms connect via Twitter and begin interacting through the Twitter interface.

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