Young people live and breathe social media, and it can be very distracting in the classroom. The default reaction of most teachers is to tell them to put those things away and pay attention to the class.
Of course, kids being kids, that only makes it more desirable. Instead of stopping them from using social networks at school, you may want to put them to good use. Mary Kleim, an educational expert at AssignmentMasters, collected several helpful ways of using Twitter for educational purposes.
Keep students informed
Create a feed for your students to send them notifications about updates, recommended news feeds, deadlines for assignments, and schedule of exams.
Incorporate hashtags into lessons
Make your lessons relevant by incorporating related material using hashtags. Encourage students to follow these hashtags and discuss it in class.
Use it to collaborate on different projects
Twitter is real-time, so working on a project becomes a lot more efficient. Using hashtags also makes it easier to keep track of changes.
Get students involved in a meaningful program
The Twitter community is huge, and you can use its reach to encourage students and their followers to become aware and participate in government or charitable initiatives
Spice up discussions
Consult with your students about what topics interest them, and build your lessons around them. This will make for a spirited debate that everyone can join.
Challenge their creativity
You can use the limited format of tweets to motivate your students to be more creative. Ask them to tell a complete story or create a poem. You can acknowledge entries with the most retweets, if you want, to make it a friendly competition. Future writers appreciate the acknowledgement.
Reassure and engage parents
You can use Twitter to keep anxious parents in the loop during field trips or excursions. Post photos and give frequent updates of what is happening. You can also use Twitter to get to know each other that would ease any awkwardness at Parent-Teacher conferences.
Keep track of student questions
Many students may not feel comfortable asking their questions in class, but have no problems posting it on social media. Teachers can keep track of all student questions about a lesson, which they can revisit and address in class or on Twitter. This not only engages all students equally, but gives students the feeling that they matter.
Allow students to post notes about their lessons. This will give you immediate feedback on what the students picked up. You can correct any misconceptions and clarify any misunderstandings in real time.
Use it with WordPress
If you encourage your students to maintain personal blogs, you can keep up with new entries by syncing each one with Twitter.
Pick the brain of professionals
You can help older students start thinking about what they may want to pursue as a career. Future writers, for example, can discuss their ambitions in the industry with top writers at AssignmentMasters to give them real-world perspectives.
Pick the brain of other students
The global community extends to more than business. Students from all over the world can connect on Twitter and collaborate on projects. Can you imagine how interesting such projects would be with the mix of different cultures?
Use Twitter for research
The beauty of Twitter is that its search engine is very efficient in crawling microblog entries on any subject, making research not only efficient, but also current. Your students will have real-time access to changes in ideas, opinions, and research activities on almost any topic on any field. They can follow key political figures, for example, and document what is happening as it is happening.
Give students pointers for reviews
You can make cramming for exams a lot more efficient and environmentally friendly by posting sample questions on Twitter. This can help students study important aspects of an upcoming exam individually, and confer with other students at the same time. It is a form group study without having to leave home. You can also use it to retweet stories and articles for in-depth reviews.
These are just a few of the most helpful ways to use Twitter as a learning tool for your students. If you have successfully used Twitter in other ways that helped your students in their learning, please share them. We’ll be sure to retweet it!