Twitter is a social networking tool that allows users to connect with people and explore topics of interest (#hashtags). Twitter users can read and write short messages (up to 140 characters) that are organized by hashtags (e.g., #education).
|Type of learning||Social constructivism; Connectivism|
|Ease of Use||★★|
|ISTE Standards for Students||Knowledge Constructor, Creative Communicator, Global Collaborator|
There are more than 310 million active users on Twitter (source). 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.
Twitter & the SAMR Model
- 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: Calculate and compare the number of tweets per minute for multiple hashtags; Engage in a Twitter chat with a Math expert; collect and analyze survey data from Twitter users
- Science: Conduct research (e.g., #climatechange); Connect with subject matter experts; Host a public twitter chat about a local environmental issue
- English/Language Arts: Tweet as a character; engage in an ongoing class debate outside of class time; create a story within 140 characters;
- Other: Backchanneling, online class community, document a field trip (see 30 Innovative Ways to Use Twitter In the Classroom)
- 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 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