I have a Twitter account, but with all the other accounts I maintain, Twitter is not a priority. However, I know people who cannot survive a day without Twitter. I just read an interesting article--Does the Use of Twitter Improve Education?--published by Connected Principals (December 5, 2012). One person commented, "It's a bit like asking, 'Does the use of pencils improve education?'"
The author claims that he is engaged in more learning than ever before by using Twitter regularly and sharing what he is learning with others. That convinces him that Twitter is an educational tool and that true lifelong learners can use it to share their learning openly.
Please share your thoughts.
I'm really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on using Twitter in your classroom. For those who want to see what all the hoopla is about and may even have a Twitter account but never use it (like me), here is a video just to get the "lay of the land":
A Look Around New Twitter 2012
How are you using Twitter in your classroom? If not using, I'd still like to hear your thoughts on the use of Twitter in education, as professional development tool, to engage students, any limitations and liabilities you perceive.
You might want to read our featured blog, Unlock the Wonders of Learning with Digital Technology in the Classroom by Laura Benfield, National Center for Family Literacy. Learn more about the new digital divide in education.
Educational Learning and Mobile Technology (December 2012) has posted an article--A Great Twitter Cheat Sheet for Teachers--that references a new, free ebook about using Twitter in education that will be available in 2013. The cheat sheet is free and can be downloaded from a link in this article.
Crystal Gasell shared this information in a previous discussion about Twitter.
I have been a Twitter user several years and have found it to be a valuable professional tool. I typically check Twitter via my iPhone. I prefer the Twitter app.
One place to start looking for help with Twitter is How Twitter Works for beginning users.
Welcome to the Twitterverse!
I've been using Twitter for years for everything from keeping in touch with colleagues to sharing professional development and curriculum materials with other teachers. In the years since I've joined, I often first learn about current events from Twitter (@BreakingNews is my favorite).
Since I've been doing this for a while, I have some links I can share, from blogs that I've written for NCTE, Bedford/St. Martins, and my own site. They were written over the past few years, so forgive any links that are broken please.
If you're interested in collecting Twitter links in a simple way for students, Paper.li can be a useful option. The tool gathers Tweets from your feed that include URLs and lays them out in a newspaper-style format. I've written several pieces about using Paper.li:
Most recently, I've written a series of posts on using Twitter Chats, which are real-time, online conversations that use specific hashtags to help organize the discussion. Twitter Chats can be a powerful tool for students and colleagues. You can read more about them in these posts:
Also, if you’re even slightly interested in how you might use Twitter in the classroom, take a look at William M. Ferriter’s essay “Why Teachers Should Try Twitter” from Educational Leadership.
The article explains, “For educators who use this tool to build a network of people whose Twitter messages connect to their work, Twitter becomes a constant source of new ideas to explore.” It includes some tips and how-to’s as well as a personal story on how the experience affected the author’s understanding of differentiated instruction.
Hope that helps. I'm willing to share whatever advice and experience I have, so contact me if you need more or have a question I might be able to answer.