Using connectedness to better all learners in the room: students & teacher
While Twitter often seems to be for self-promotion, gossip, or goofy one-liners, there's an increasing population of educators, classrooms & schools that use it to share ideas and connect with others. Students can ask questions of experts, share their successes and failing-up experiences, and connect with peers across the globe. Teachers can learn from colleagues across a diverse user-base and contribute to professional discourse. With only 140-characters available, users have to exercise the art of skillful communication (brevity, clarity, context) while also engaging a desired audience through use of hashtags, lists, handles and other tools. Students can make live tweets or use the constraints in simulated environments. While I think there could be value to having optional content filters for a TwitterEdu, learning to navigate real waters of digital citizenship has tremendous upsides.
How I Use It
I've used lot jots, discussion formats, design thinking strategies, IDEO problem solving tools, audio comment tools, writing assessments and prompts, and graphic organizers that I found only because of Twitter users sharing them, and all within the last three months prior to this review. Twitter specifically connected my students' work with Caine's Arcade & the Global Cardboard Challenge. Students saw their cardboard creations retweeted across the globe and saw the feedback, enhancing their motivation. Perhaps more importantly, Nirvan Mullick, co-founder of Imagination Foundation, was able to Skype with the students because we connected first via Twitter. Because of our network infrastructure, students currently cannot register for Twitter while at school. However, many are creating accounts while home and using their school based e-mail as their registration e-mail In those cases, I am following those students with my classroom twitter handle.