Review by Erin Brereton, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2013

twiducate

Safe social network for classroom communication somewhat limited

Common Sense says
Teachers say (1 Review)
$avg_user_learning_rating
Write a review
Grades
1-12 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
Great for:
See subjects & skills

Take a look inside

5 images

Pros: Teachers can safely share assignments and other information; kids get social networking experience in a monitored environment.

Cons: You can't easily attach .pdfs or other items to posts and messages, and the overall look isn't as dynamic as that of some social networking sites.

Bottom Line: Twiducate has a few limitations, but the site provides a secure system for teachers and students to share work and communicate.

Teachers can use twiducate to send students assignments, to refer them to educational websites by sharing URL links, and to post dates as reminders about upcoming deadlines and events.

The simple system lets teachers broadcast a message to their entire classroom or send a note to individual students; they can dole out extra-credit assignments, send support materials to students who are struggling, or provide pre-test prep materials to an entire class.

Continue reading Show less

Developed in 2009, twiducate is a free social networking tool for classrooms. Teachers add students by first name or an alias after registering; students get random numeric passwords. Users can personalize their account with one of the site's avatar images or their own. Students and teachers can e-mail each other through the site, and educators can share bookmarks, posts, deadlines, and other information that only their classroom can see. Teachers can also search by name for other educators in the system with whom they can communicate and share ideas.

Continue reading Show less

Twiducate provides a safe way for teachers to share content with students, who get to practice social networking and written communication skills in the process. Information is exchanged via a secure, closed network. Teachers can view student site activity and prevent them from editing and deleting their posts.

Students may not be impressed by the site's simple design -- Facebook's photo-driven feed provides more compelling visuals -- and the site has a few limitations. Teachers can't easily include attachments in e-mails or posts; they need to upload the items elsewhere and include a link to the materials, which can be cumbersome. Some features can be a little confusing. Teacher profiles include an option to disable chatting, but there's no clear IM feature on the site. The prominent link to twiducate's Café Press page, touting products with a site logo, seems unnecessary, and twiducate's Explore page contains links to sites with varying educational value, like Wikipedia. Though twiducate doesn't provide education, the site can serve as a simple example of safe social media use, offering teachers a way to share classroom content and giving kids experience communicating online.

Continue reading Show less
Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

The design isn't overly dynamic; don't expect a ton of activities, or bells and whistles. The system is a safe, simple way for students and teachers to correspond. Kids can also customize their avatar and include a brief profile bio.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

Kids practice using social media in a safe environment with other classmates. They also get writing and self-expression experience. But teachers need to provide communication tips, educational information, activities, and guidance.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
2

Teachers can view student site activity but don't get many extra resources. A blog offers usage tips and e-learning information; another page has links to educational sites like PBS Kids, as well as some more general sources like Wikipedia.


Teacher Reviews

4
(See all 1 reviews) (1 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Shannon M. , Media specialist/librarian
Media specialist/librarian
Yorktown High School
Yorktown Heights, NY
4
A fantastic tool to create Twitter like functionality in a safe environment.

I like Twiducate because it offers a Twitter like backchannel environment where students are safe and not open for public viewing. Teachers create classroom specific accounts, where they add students and pose questions. Students are able to respond to teacher questions as if they are Tweeting. This is great for schools who are not yet ready to truly embrace main stream social media in the classroom. Originally created by educators. It offers a mobile platform as well as web based, so cell phone use is not a requirement to use the tool.

Read full review