I was recently challenged by my instructor to come up with some ways to use twitter in your classroom. I had to think long and hard on ways to use it in my classroom because I am a third grade teacher, and just automatically assumed it would be too high tech for my students. After, thinking things through, I came to the conclusion that my students would probably be better at navigating and learning the process than myself. Now days kids are so tech savvy. It is nor uncommon for toddlers to be toting around smartphones or tablets, and using them rather smoothly. So, my quest began.
My instructor stated that we must use two websites, and one article that could be found in our school’s library. I was really surprised at how many things I found when I began looking.
The first web-site that caught my attention was: EdTechReview. This web site caught my attention it talked about “tips” for using twitter in the classroom. One tip that stuck out was setting up one account for all the students to log in too. I was floored! That was such a genius idea! The students would all have the username and password and could communicate through creating unique hashtags.For example you can create a hashtag like #butts3rdgrademath, and every time a student responds with that hashtag, it will all fall together.
The next web site that caught my attention was: Education Aspirations. This web site was very intriguing because this teacher had a class account where students were required to respond to the teacher’s tweets once a week. Often times, the teacher’s tweet would just be to tweet about what you learned this week in class. the teacher would also set up a unique hashtag for the tweet. The school that this teacher worked at did not have a specific hashtag so she set up one just for the class, this made it easier to track the tweets. Finally, the teacher would pull up the tweets in the class and talk about the ones that stuck out to her the most. For example, if a student tweeted that he or she didn’t learn anything then she would ask them to explain why they though they didn’t learn anything, and then have them reflect back on what they did that week.
The article I chose to read was: Article by Jeff Kurtz, “Twittering About Learning: Using Twitter In The Elementary Classroom.”This teacher used twitter to promote the writing process in an elementary classroom. I know it sounds crazy,but once I read the article it all made sense. At the beginning of the year the teacher would walk the students through the process of setting up a twitter account and show them for weeks how to post and respond. Once the students felt comfortable, the teacher started with “journal like” assignments. The teacher would give a journal prompt and then the students (along with the teacher directing) would tweet the response. After the teacher typed up the tweet, while the students are watching, they would go back and look for revisions. Revisions like, run on sentences, misspellings,and pronunciation errors. However, the most intriguing edit to me was, twitter only allows 140 characters, so if the tweet was over that amount, the students would see the negative number and realize they had to change some wording to get to the 140 character limit.This was so awesome to me. I could see my students so engaged in this whole process.
I firmly believe that I will come up with a way to incorporate Twitter into my classroom really soon!