Twitter in the Classroom

There are so many GREAT educators on Twitter and it’s great to connect, learn, and grow from them.  One day my class and I tweeted about Greece with someone IN Greece.   Now that I have completely embraced Skype in my classroom, I’m realizing even more that global learning adds a whole new wonderful layer to an ordinary day in the classroom.   I started thinking, could a Twitter account help us connect to other classrooms, keep our conversations going, learning about weather, cultures, differences, and similarities around the world?

I could use my own Twitter account. But, what about my tweets?  I didn’t want to clutter up my classroom page with all of my twitter ramblings.  So, I started our own classroom account.  Many Twitter apps, including  TweetDeck, allow for having multiple accounts and easily switching between the two.  In the classroom? I just leave our account logged in at my teacher workstation.

Since I’ve started it, I’ve been following other classrooms and even started a list of Classrooms that Tweet.   Now, wait… you might be thinking… there is SO much out there on Twitter that I’d NEVER want my students to read.  Of course.  But, the great thing about your class page? It only shows the tweets of people you choose to follow.  I am only following accounts of other classrooms.  I could ‘protect’ the account, but then that takes the whole ‘global learning’ aspect away with one click.  The internet is filled with stuff we’d never want our kids exposed to.  This makes it even more essential to teach, model, and show them how to be a responsible digital citizen.

Uses for Twitter in the Classroom:

1.) 140 a day Learning Log: Ask a student to tweet “What did we learn today?”

2.) Discuss weather.

3.) Connect with classes on a project.

4.) Look for Skype partners.

5.) Share blog posts and participate in #comments4kids

6.) Model appropriate and productive use of Social Media.

7.) Start a “photo a day” project.  Tweet one photo of a project or learning activity every single day.

Tips:

1.) Don’t feel like you need to watch the feed ALL day.  It’s just another tool, not something that will have to take up your day.

2.) Have a conversation with kids about age requirements to have their own account and make it clear that you are not inviting 8 year olds to get a Twitter account. If you want to further explore with each student having their own account, try Twiducate or Edomodo.

3.) Encourage kids to ask questions of other classes.  Weather? Current learning topics? Time zones?

4.) Monitor for Spam and report it. I haven’t had this issue yet, because if you don’t follow someone, their Tweet just doesn’t show on your page.

I’m really just starting this journey with my class and I can’t wait to see where it takes us.  I just want to prepare my students for the world that we live in: a world that is connected and interactive.  It’s one thing to understand where YOU live, but to understand how that compares to where another person lives? That’s learning.

Edited to add: Please add your class Twitter account to our list!

Share it?Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on Google+Buffer this pageEmail this to someone
Krissy Venosdale

Krissy Venosdale

Forever Learner. Collaborator. Sharpie Collector. Poster Maker. Eternal Optimist. I still wish on stars.

You may also like...

14 Responses

  1. @Matt_Gomez says:

    Great post! My class has loved connecting with other Kindergarten classes via twitter. Many other #kinderchat classes are participating also. Even though my class account is a separate account and protected I go one step further and favorite the tweets I want my class to see during our “twitter time” Since we have 20+ other classes this helps me limit the timeline and focus on certian tweets/replies.

    • I love the idea of favoriting tweets. I think that will really help to focus the kids attention to the most meaningful tweets. I love to hear that you are using Twitter with really young children. My youngest age group is 3rd graders and I wondered if anyone would say they were “too young.” I think we’ve gotta reach kids with the tools that they’ll be using as digital citizens, and starting with very young kids only means they’ll be THAT much ahead as they go trhough school. Thanks for commenting!
      ~Krissy

  2. Elle says:

    Hi Krissy!

    I was so glad to find your class on Twitter just recently! I have been using my class twitter account since the fall and my kids love checking to see if anyone has replied or interacted with us. It opens up even more possibilities to start collaborations and conversations around the world. One step I am going to take with Twitter is to use it to backchannel during our Skype calls. I think this would be great practice for summarizing important points in real time- which is essential for the 21st century. Happy tweeting!

    Elle

    • Thanks, Elle. I can honestly say that I probably would have kept using my own account for my class until I saw your account. It never occurred to me to have two accounts! It’s working great and I love the idea of using Skype as a backchannel. Let me know how that goes — great idea! :)
      Thanks,
      Krissy

  3. Great stuff! Here’s what I do with twitter in my classroom http://levdavidovic.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/42/

  4. Thanks for sharing. My class has a Twitter account, too. Some times each child just takes the time to tweet one thing they have learned recently; other times, we create our tweets as a class. We take the time about once a day to check it so that it doesn’t overtake our classroom. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Like Matt, I have been tweeting with my kindergarten class for 2 years now. They love making “twitter friends” around the world, and participating in ongoing conversations about the similarities and differences between their daily lives. I use the “favoriting” trick, too, and it works like a charm. I encourage parents to follow us, and they love getting 140 character “snapshots” of what is going on in class. In response to some very positive media coverage of my class tweeting, I have taken some heavy criticism for using social media with such young students, but I have repeatedly found that critics usually don’t really understand Twitter OR kindergarten. Social media is here to stay; kudos to you for harnessing its power for good!

  6. Love to teach Indian cooking through Skype.

  7. Christine Grimm says:

    All of my GT classes (2nd and 3rd grade) are being introduced to Twitter this week and will begin tweeting through the eyes of our class pet SamTheGecko. They are excited to contribute tweets from Sam about what she sees going on in class.

  1. January 14, 2012

    [...] Twitter: While I just blogged about using Twitter in the classroom, I started thinking, what if you have a “Mystery Account” and tweet as a famous person. [...]

  2. January 16, 2012

    [...] Twitter in the Classroom | Venspired Learning There are so many GREAT educators on Twitter and it’s great to connect, learn, and grow from them. One day my class and I tweeted about Greece with someone IN Greece. Now that I have completely embraced Skype in my classroom, I’m realizing even more that global learning adds a whole new wonderful layer to an ordinary day in the classroom. I started thinking, could a Twitter account help us connect to other classrooms, keep our conversations going, learning about weather, cultures, differences, and similarities around the world? I could use my own Twitter account. But, what about my tweets? [...]

  3. January 17, 2012

    [...] Twitter in the Classroom | Venspired Learning 6.) Model appropriate and productive use of Social Media. 7.) Start a “photo a day” project. Tweet one photo of a project or learning activity every single day. [...]

  4. January 19, 2012

    [...] Twitter in the Classroom | Venspired Learning 6.) Model appropriate and productive use of Social Media. 7.) Start a “photo a day” project. [...]

  5. April 1, 2013

    [...] with other classrooms. Collaborate with another classroom, no matter where they are in the world, to expand learning [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>