Teacher Review for Twitter

Microblogging builds engagement and extends learning time

Szymon M.
Classroom teacher
Grand Valley State University
Allendale, United States
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My Subjects Science
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Student-driven work
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
How I Use It
1. I use Twitter to connect with students in a professional way about the subject matter of the class. I establish a class tag: #CIS150 #GVSU and post textbook definitions or current event references with this tag. I encourage students to follow me on Twitter. I retweet their class related comments. Overtime, the tweets with the class tags become a study guide for the midterm and final exams.

2. I use Twitter in the classroom as a peer response system. I assign a task to students individually or in a group and ask that they tweet the solution. The projector runs twitterfall.com to display responses live.

Example: given a name of a person, find out what they are famous for:
Twitter Post
Example: find a hard drive in the computer and point to it:
Twitter Post
Example: write a haiku about the class and tweet it:
Twitter Post
Example: tweet your name in binary language:
Twitter Post

3. I follow industry leaders to learn from their findings and comments on Twitter. This shows, by example, how to establish a Personal Learning Network and how to use Twitter for learning.

4. You can follow my current Twitter activity intended for teaching at https://twitter.com/smprof or follow my learning discussions at https://twitter.com/machajewski
My Take
Twitter is a unique social media tool, which allows for public conversation. This mitigates possible legal issues with private teacher/student interactions. It allows requires short expression, which means that students practice editorial skills, vocabulary, and lapidary style of expression. Many students already use Twitter to connect to news and friends. When Twitter is used by teachers for academic purposes it weaves in academic content into students' daily interactions. It also sets an example for students on how to use Twitter professionally and that adults do read (or can access) what is put on Twitter.

The tool can be used during classroom activities with connection to twitterfall.com as a backchannel tool, or it can be used as a tool for reminders or to build a study guide for exams.

"According to StudyBlue survey, those who use their mobile devices to help them study are almost 3x more likely to track their academic progress, study 40 more minutes each week because they can study on the go, aren't pulling too many all-nighters - they are twice as likely to study between 6am and 8am."

Student engagement with Twitter: