Teaching with Twitter - turning microblogging into learning

August 22, 2011

In many cities around the world, kids and adults are returning to the classrooms for a new year at school. So much has changed for students and teachers. First with mobile phones, and now with social media. How can teachers and parents keep up? Along with the development of social media tools, the opportunity for developing new methods of teaching that incorporate these tools are emerging. In the case of microblogging, specifically the use of Twitter, these challenges are global. Thankfully, Glenfield School Technology Coordinator Samantha Morra has taken the time to create the "Introduction to Twitter for Educators." You can take a walk through the elements of a Twitter page, understand the language and all those crazy acronyms.

As a teacher, what can you do with Twitter? Dr. William J. Ward aka @DR4WARD of Syracuse University recommends using Twitter to distribute supplemental course material, to make announcements and send reminders. He includes many more suggestions in his presentation "Teaching With Twitter." What guidelines can educators refer to? Carmen Holotescu examines the pros and cons of microblogging in "Microblogging in Education", and looks at a variety of microblogging tools and the ways they can improve learning.

Keep in mind that the challenges of social media communication are not limited to your particular location or school. Maggie Verster of Johannesburg, South Africa shares the same concerns as teachers in other parts of the world. She offers more suggestions and some recommended tools for teachers in "Using twitter as a higher order thinking tool in the classroom."

Twitter is now an accepted method of communication in world events, entertainment, and breaking news. But it has just as much value in the day-to-day activities of our own lives. These educators believe that Twitter can add to the educational experience, and is more than a distraction, it's an asset. If you would like to find more presentations about the use of microblogging and Twitter in education, search SlideShare using terms like Twitter, education, teaching, teach. And as the school year begins, we'd like to give a big thanks to all of the educators who are making the world a better place by sharing knowledge. We truly appreciate you all. Have a great year!