Twitter, like blogging is a great tool for teachers outside of the classroom. If this idea seems intimidating to you, check the Edudemic guide to twitter and the Educator’s Must-Have guide to using Twitter for educational purposes. On these two sites you will find an array of ideas for using this link to help improve communication with and between your students as well as all the many different outlets and things twitter has to offer. You can communicate with parents through Twitter, post summaries of the day’s lesson, have students react to the lesson or day’s activity, they could ask questions to you through your class Twitter page, using hashtags, you can organize ideas and categories readings, you can create pop quizzes on twitter and do much much more…
One of the reasons I like the idea of using Twitter in the classroom is for the same reason I like blogging. Students can ask you or the class as a whole a question that they may have been too shy to ask in class. Students can also use it for homework if told to respond to my twitter post. For example, I could post the following in French:
On a parlé de Renoir, un artiste français, en classe aujourd’hui.
- Qu’est-ce que vous pensez à lui et est-ce que vous aimez les œuvres qu’on a vues en classe?
- Interprétez cette œuvre. Qu’est-ce qui se passe, selon vous? (Make at least 3 observations.)
(We talked about Renoir, a French artist today in class. 1.What do you think of him and do you like his that art we saw in class? 2. Interpret the following piece. What is taking place, according to you?)
Renoir – Le Déjeuner des canotiers.
I also like the idea of having students follow certain historical people. My class could be required to follow Auguste Renoir for example and bring into class some interesting posts they read. Another simple assignment could also be for students to make a post in French using a tense we have been studying, the passé composé, (past tense), or the conditionnel for example.
If you wish to explore all the different Twitter lingo, Educator’s Must-Have guide is truly an incredible source. “Twellow” for example, is finding twitter users based on a category. “Twitterholic” is a way to find the most popular twitter users. To find twitter users within your community you can use “localtweeps”. This “must-have” guide also gives tips for those who wish to present themselves as an authority in their domaine. Being honest and sincere, opinionated but constructive, replying to other’s tweets and comments, using your real name and sharing your credentials are among some of the advice given. If you’re an educator, don’t be afraid to use twitter to connect with your students outside of the classroom or for homework assignments. It’s certainly different and at least something more refreshing and engaging than worksheets or book work!