Twitter is a micro-blogging service that allows users to send out small burst of information called tweets to other users.  Twitter is a great learning platform for students and educators of all ages. Twitter is used by educators in three general ways: communication, professional development, and class activities.  Some teachers use Twitter to communicate with parents, students and other stakeholders. Twitter connects students and parents on a wider level as well as on a personal level. Twitter makes a classroom with no boundaries as it can be accessed for in where with any mobile device.  It also individualizes learning for each student.  After all the research I have completed and the PD I have been a part of this is where education is going.  Twitter can also be used as a resource.  Educators use Twitter mostly to discuss professional development as they participate in conversations about lessons, ideas, and resources.  Most educators use Twitter for their personal use but do not bring it into the classroom for the students. Research has shown that if Twitter is used in the classroom and out of the classroom for assigned activities will expand understanding of key course concepts.

There are numerous way Twitter can be used in an elementary classroom.  Here are a few examples: Create a single classroom account for all students, unique hashtags, follow only selected people, and respond to others tweets.  When creating a single classroom account for all students make sure the students have the permission of the teacher before they make the initially tweet. If you do not want the students to actually do the tweeting you could have them write the tweets down and the teacher can tweet them.  The students also need to put only their first name on the tweet. Hashtags are used to gather all tweets related to a certain topic. Remember when creating a hashtag for the classroom topic, make sure it has not been used before. Twitter feeds will be seen by all of your students when they log in to the class account, so, follow only people you think have useful tweets for your students.  Look for other class accounts like yours, just tag them in your tweet.  Tweet a math problem and if they want to solve it they can tweet you class back.  There are a lot of class accounts like these, your students will love to engage in these type of activities. To keep your parents informed you can tweet out newsletters, school calendars, and classroom links. In an effort to increase the visibility of a classroom twitter account and to show the value of the account you can embed the Twitter stream into a class website.  This can help show photos, videos and Tweets can be viewed from the website.

I have enjoyed doing this assignment because it has given a lot of different ideas to use in the classroom. I can see where my kindergarten students could do some of these things and I could tweet them out for them. I think they would be very excited to see when different people or different classrooms around the world tweeted us. Most of these idea I have not really thought about before, but my students would be very interested in doing some of them.  My Kindergarten students would not be able to do most of them by themselves but we could use this as a teaching tool.  My parents would love the idea of learning about what is happening in the classroom from the class website and Twitter.  I know I would look at it if it were used in my children’s classroom.

Ed-tech Review

Matt Coaty