Twitter is a social networking tool that allows users to connect with people and explore topics of interest (#hashtags). There are more than 310 million active users on Twitter (source). Twitter users can read and write short messages (up to 140 characters) that are organized by hashtags (e.g., #education). While you might think that Twitter is just for celebrities and people who want to share photos of their lunch, it is actually one of the most popular professional learning tools for K-12 teachers. If you are struggling to get students to engage in conversations or to get full class participation, you might consider giving Twitter a try. It is a great tool for backchanneling, synchronous or asynchronous communication, and even conducting research.
|Type of learning||Social constructivism; Connectivism|
|Ease of Use||★★ ★✩✩|
|ISTE Standards for Students||Knowledge Constructor, Creative Communicator, Global Collaborator|
Impact On Student Learning. Twitter functions characteristically as a social network linking effective tools including learner-based, assessment-centered as well as knowledge-based online tools for instructors and students without constraint of time and space. This is a great community-based tool to promote students’ learning, and thus improve their academic competency multiculturally, multilingually, entertainingly, educationally, effectively, and efficiently.
Cost. Free of charge for users, but advertisement needs payment. Twitter Ads pricing
Designer: CEO: #Jack Dorsey (see Twitter leadership team)
“Our Services instantly connect people everywhere to what’s most meaningful to them. For example, any registered user of Twitter can send a Tweet, which is public by default, and can include a message of 140 characters or less and content like photos, videos, and links to other websites.”
Meanwhile, Twitter requires age screening for preventing kids from inappropriate exposure within advertisement. Age screening on Twitter
How is data used? “We collect and use your information below to provide, understand, and improve our Services.” https://twitter.com/privacy?lang=en
Power and Bias. How’s the tool biased? Twitter connects everyone across the countries anytime, but a small amount of users’ posting comments, information, video and photos are frequently found inappropriate in terms of violation of the twitter rules. Users can report inappropriate behavior on Twitter, see How to report violations.
“My children, again, discipline me not to go on Twitter because apparently people say bad things about me on Twitter. But things like Twitter offer us the opportunity only to encounter views consistent with our own, 24 hours a day,” Comey explained at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event Wednesday.” FBI’s Comey: Twitter fuels ‘monster of a bias’
What type of power structure does the tool encourage? The Twitter Rules: “We believe that everyone should have the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers. In order to protect the experience and safety of people who use Twitter, there are some limitations on the type of content and behavior that we allow. All users must adhere to the policies set forth in the Twitter Rules. Failure to do so may result in the temporary locking and/or permanent suspension of account(s).”
How’s diversity portrayed? Deemed as a community-based tool, Twitter incorporates diversity of globalized users.
“Twitter is a global social broadcast network that enables people and organizations to publicly share brief messages instantly around the world. The service can be accessed on the web at twitter.com, on a wide variety of mobile devices and via text messaging. Available in more than 35 languages, Twitter has hundreds of millions of active users.” Encourage Twitter literacy
What type of language is used? Twitter allows users to change language settings. Twitter is available in more than 35 languages.
Ease of Use. Twitter is a community-based tool for social networking like Facebook, it takes time for users to learn how to navigate Twitter and become experts in Tweeting, Retweeting, using hashtags, and following people or information. Tweeting The Twitter glossary
Access. Twitter can be access on iOS and Android devices, including iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac and desktop computers.
- Signing up with Twitter
- Getting started with Twitter for Android
- Twitter for Mac
- Getting started with Twitter for iPhone or iPad
Accessibility. Twitter provides users with less information about accessibility, especially for individuals who are physically disadvantaged. However, Twitter has been aware of the issue of accessibility since 2013, and Twitter blog mentioned some thoughts about improving accessibility of twitter.
- Accessibility features of Twitter: Improving accessibility of twitter.com
- Making images accessible for people on Twitter
- Facebook and Twitter Improving Accessibility for the Visually Impaired Is Noble, But Both May Have Another Motive
- Accessibility and Twitter
Workflow. Twitter allows users to download their archive.
Twitter & the SAMR Model
Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model offers a lens for examining how technology is adopted in a classroom. As you strive to incorporate online tools into your classroom, we encourage you to use this model as an analytic tool.
- Substitution: Students use a Twitter hashtag to engage in a discussion (instead of engaging in a face-to-face discussion).
- Augmentation: All students engage in the discussion over an extended period (e.g., 1-2 weeks).
- Modification: Students critically analyze the archive of the discussion.
- Redefinition: Subject matter experts are invited to join the discussion and share their expertise.
Math: Students learn about improper fractions as mixed numbers and use Twitter hashtags (e.g.,#6thgrademath, #improperfractions, #mixednumbers) to connect with subject matter experts and host a public twitter chat about the topic.
Science: Science instructor conducts group discussion regarding climate change in the 5th grade classroom using hashtag #greenhouseeffect,#extremeweather, #mothernature, #PlanetCrisis, #ClimateAction and #endangeredspecies on Twitter chat before group discussion. Students can learn from science experts on Twitter regarding focused topic by means of shared comments and feedback, and bring information engaging in group discussion afterward.
English/Language Arts: Teachers guide students to create picture books from Storybird, and then share their products on Twitter, using hashtags #storybird, #picturebooks, #Englishreading, #Englishwriting, and #comments4kids, inviting the public to give comments and offer their thoughts. Students revise their picture books based on the feedback they receive.
Astronomy: Instructor conducts astronomy class for students exploring Mars using Twitter hashtags. For example, students type #MARS, #Marslanding, #NASA, #Curiosityrover and #Astronomy for Twitter chat.
Sports: PE teacher provides students with information about baseball, basketball, and history of NBA, as well as MLB, before peer discussion. Students examine relevant Twitter hashtags, including #MLB, #NBA, #mlbhalloffame, #nbahalloffame, #chicagocubs, #nbabraves, #nbaplayoff, and #mlbstars, to expand their knowledge of these topics . They learn how become a baseball or basketball expert by giving and receiving comments through Twitter chat. Students use collected information to engage in peer discussion about why baseball and basketball bring joyfulness to American life.
- Twitter Blogs
- Twitter WordPress Plugins
- Twitter: Number of Active Users 2010-2016-Statista
- Twitter: The New York Times
- Twitter Developers
- Can Tweeting Help Your Teaching?
- Teaching and Learning:Twitter
- 10 Amazing Ways for Teachers and Tutors to Use Twitter in Education
- Guide to Using Twitter in Your Teaching Practice
- Tchat.io (tool for Twitter chats)
- Twitter for Teachers
- The Teacher’s Guide to Twitter
- The Complete Guide to Twitter for Education
- Twitter Chats 101: A Step-by-Step Guide To Hosting or Joining a Twitter Chat
- 50 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom
- Twitter: Bringing the World into Your Classroom
- Tweeting History: A Digital Literacy Lesson
- How Twitter Can Be Used as a Powerful Educational Tool
- How to Use Twitter for Teaching and Learning
- Teaching With Twitter
- Using Twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities
- 10 Rockstar Teachers on Twitter
- Using Twitter in Academic Teaching
- Teaching with Twitter: The Twitter Essay and Twitter Fishbowl
- Teaching with Twitter: 5 Resources for Getting Started
- Can Twitter Open Up a New Space for Learning, Teaching and Thinking?
- Twitter for Teachers-YouTube
- 7 Things I Learned from Teaching with Twitter
- Twitter and Teaching: to Tweet or not to Tweet?
- Twitter for Teachers: @TeachingLC Lets Educators Share their Successes
- Teacher invites Twitter into the classroom
- Twitter for Teachers: Building your Network
- Studying Twitter as a Teaching Tool: Drexel University
How to Use Twitter
- Go to www.twitter.com
- Click “Sign Up” and register for an account
- Return to Twitter and login
- Setup your profile page
- Click on the egg icon in the top right corner (next to the “Tweet” button)
- Click on “Edit profile”
- Add a photo and/or short bio
- Research hashtags (#) to find people to follow
- Use an Internet Search Engine to identify hashtags (e.g., “Top 3 hashtags for science education”)
- Return to Twitter and type one of the hashtags into the search engine
- Browse tweets
- Follow 3-4 individuals who you find fascinating
- Write a tweet
- Click the “Tweet” button in the top right corner
- Add text (less than 140 characters)
- Include a hashtag related to your tweet to reach a broader audience
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