Twitter in the Classroom

Twitter is struggling. It’s not gaining members like it use to, but if you give Twitter a chance you’ll find that it can be pretty handy. It has the ability to be an incredible resource. From day-to-day activities like catching up on news to finding a businesses’ operation hours, Twitter can be used in a variety of ways. Specifically, I want to focus on the practical uses of Twitter in the classroom – so students and educators of all levels can participate in the revival of Twitter.

A place to share – Professors can tweet assignments and reminders for students. If students turn on post notifications for their professors, they’re able tor receive immediate notifications of the tweet. Professors can also link to other important online resources that tie into previous class discussion or homework.

A place to ask questions – Students can respond to their professor’s tweets with questions and comments. If the tweet is public, other students can benefit from the professor’s response. If they want to start a private discussion regarding their question, they can also send a direct message.

A place to collaborate – Twitter is an easy way for students in a large class to communicate. Students can find relevant tweets and mention (@ them) those they’re working with. They can also start group direct messages or long Twitter threads. With threads, professors can follow along in their discussion and intervene if they feel they have relevant information.

A place to do research – Look up relevant hashtags. Find verified tweeters (those with the blue check
mark). Many tweets link out to other resources – check those out. Tweets can be embedded into blogs or websites as examples and references.

A place to organize – Professors and students can develop a hashtag for their course. If they include this hashtag in every tweet, it’ll be easy to organize all tweets related to the class. For example, if I was the professor of a 100 level marketing class, the hashtag #GuzzoMarketing100 would work. It’s not very catchy, but it would make it easy to access a group of related tweets.

A place to live tweet – Use Twitter as a story telling tool! By using a class hashtag, educators can have their students live tweet movies, books, or guest presentations. Live tweeting is the act of tweeting comments while the event is happening. It’s a good way to practice clear and concise writing, as well as multitasking. Here’s some live tweeting tips to keep in mind.

A place to summarize – When you live tweet, every tweet is a summary. With only 140 characters per tweets, students and educators will have to learn to condense their thoughts into short and sweet statements.

A place to survey – Give your students a chance to vote in a Twitter poll. Ask a question and give up to 4 clickable options! A Twitter poll has the ability to run between 5 minutes and 7 days and is completely anonymous. This is an easy way to get feedback. To learn how to set up a Twitter poll, click here.

These are just a few ideas on what Twitter can provide. I hope next time you write a syllabus or need to think of a creative project, you consider Twitter. There are a variety of ways to use this platform – the tool is truly what you make of it.

And don’t forget to follow DigLibArts and the Student Technology Liaisons on Twitter!