Anyway, I was immediately reminded that I do, in fact, have a Twitter account! This is something that I had completely forgotten about. Earlier in the year, when I first began using Twitter, I was not impressed and commenced to setting it aside for a long period of time. Well, to make a long story short…I realized, after spending time reconnecting with my Twitter account during the conference, that Twitter can be VERY beneficial when used in a way that promotes learning and education. So, I would like to discuss a few ways in which an educator can utilize Twitter in a valuable way.
Google Image accessed from: watblog.com
As a pre-service and future teacher, I want to engage my students. Twitter is a relatively new and highly proficient form of communication that can do just that. The use of Twitter in a classroom can increase the amount of chatter that occurs. This is a GOOD thing because, before long, the students will begin using Twitter to have conversations both inside and OUTSIDE of the class. I believe this can help develop a sense of "classroom community" as students begin to build an understanding of who their peers are in school and outside the classroom space. Twitter can also be used as a way for students to backchannel during class; that is, if your school has the resources to provided their students with laptops/computers. Talk about open communication! Obviously, there are things to consider when allowing students to Tweet during class. Twitter may enhance students’ abilities to talk to inappropriate people or to discuss inappropriate topics; but, sites such as Youth Twitter or Today’s Meet allow teachers to monitor who and what students are discussing. Opening your classroom to back-channeling can promote metacognitive thinking. (Metacognitive thinking refers to the practice of thinking about and reflecting on your learning.) What I mean is that Twitter, if used as a classroom tool, can enhance students’ abilities to think about HOW they are thinking and learning.
I think Twitter could also be used as a way to remind students about homework, trips and other classroom things, especially since they can enter their mobile phone number to be alerted when a peer or teacher “tweets” such information.
There are so many technological innovations popping up everywhere that, as educators, we have many opportunities to use sites, such as Twitter, and other social media tools in a way that can cater to 21st century students.