How can 140 characters on a micro-blogging website be of any help to students? This is certainly a valid question every Twitter critic has in mind. But, a few teachers have made use of Twitter to keep their students updated and even conduct events! Here are 10 ways in which Twitter can be used as an effective educational tool right inside a classroom.
- Tracking Classes, Posting Assignments and Announcing Exams: One of the simplest ways teachers can use Twitter is by setting up an account dedicated exclusively to post due dates, quizzes, tests, sample questions, syllabus changes etc.
- Add a Little Technology to Literature Classes: Debates based on following an issue with hash tags is trending in K-12. Expert inputs from extensive researchers can be valuable. Getting students to display their literary creative skills using social media that is a great idea. Foreign students can also be kept engaged in translating news feeds of relevant countries seeing that progressive poetry can be absorbing. Furthermore, students could micro review music, movies, books, hangouts and restaurants, and English teachers can engage their students in compiling and editing stories that pre-exist.
- Field Trips and Other Co-curricular Activities: Twitter could be mighty helpful with planning field trips. When, where, tips, reviews of places and activities planned can be tweeted along with pictures that will make parents happy about the transparency.
- Play the Stock Market Game: The fundamentals of investing can be taught using real world projects of stock market. Hash tags can be used to track businesses, analysts and markets to help them invest their ‘money’.
- Posting Puzzles and Summarizing: Problems in paths, physics, and chemistry can be posted on a regular base and students can tweet back the answers. Teachers can also get students to post summaries of what was taught after each lecture. This will help students to remember and track their syllabus in an easy way.
- Mathematics: A very innovative teacher came up with teaching his students a fun way to learn the concept of Probability. He would post a general question and track and chart the replies he received. Polls could be conducted and the results could be recorded with different styles of statistics.
- Networking with Other Classrooms, Educators, and Industry Professionals: Students can connect with their peers in other educational institutions and schools to exchange methods of grasping different topics. They can also collaborate on projects. They can connect and get advice from professionals on potential career paths so as to get a feel of their chosen career. They would also get a good deal of exposure to the industry and this would help them prepare better.
- Become Politically Active: Twitter can be used by teachers to encourage their students in retweeting issues, current affairs and hot topics to spread awareness. Polls can be created and results tweeted to concerned government organizations and NGOs. This, for sure, would excite budding social reformers!
- Art: Teachers of Art could ask their students to create projects for designing wall papers for their family and friends. An online art gallery can be created by students of art using hash tags for a certain collection based on period, artist, materials used, and regions etc.
- Involve Parents: Twitter helps build a healthy connection between parents and teachers, as they can interact with parents quite easily.
These are just a few ways in which Twitter can be used in the classroom. The potentials of Twitter in education are unlimited. There is a lot of room for imagination and creativity for teachers and students alike.