Twitter in the Classroom

One of my favorite aspects of teaching is keeping update with new technology, and finding exciting ways to capture my student’s interest.  Many people use social media like Facebook and Twitter outside the classroom, but at a recent training I attended, I learned about how teachers can use Twitter inside the classroom, and I thought it was awesome!  Please enjoy the guest post below, and let me know what you think!

When it comes to social media in the classroom, some educators remain skeptical. These individuals think that Twitter does not have a place in the classroom and that the only purpose it would serve would be as a distraction.

But Twitter can actually be extremely beneficial to both students and teachers, but too many schools are refusing to see these benefits, eliminating the site from school computers. Most schools just suffer from pure ignorance to the advantages.

1. Continue the lecture.
It is sometimes hard for teachers to present all of their information during the allotted classroom time. Instead of trying to rush through all the information, Twitter allows teachers to continue the lecture even when class is over. Teachers can use Twitter to provide students with links to videos or websites that provide more information about they topic they’re currently learning. This allows teacher to ensure that their students are receiving all the information relating to the topic so that they’re not missing out on any important details.

2. Students can share notes.
Taking notes is essential to education, and if a student misses a day of school, it can be difficult to catch up on the notes taken during the day they missed. With Twitter, both teachers and students can provide links to websites where students can find information or notes about what they missed in class. Now, students who are sick don’t have to spend a great deal of time trying to catch up.

3. Students can learn more on their own.
Thanks to the use of hashtags, students can easily find information via Twitter about topics they’re learning in school. They can gain knowledgeable information from others who are discussing the same topic, and they can even join in conversations that are taking place on the web. This allows students to hear perspective from people other than their teacher, and it can be a great way to help them gain more information for the test.

4. Use the technology for homework.
Instead of sending students home with worksheets, send homework to Twitter. The teacher can post questions via Twitter and have students answer them on the site. It’s also a great way for teachers to provide help for students outside of the classroom. A student can reach out to a teacher when they have questions, helping them gain information when they’re studying.

5. Send reminders to your class.
How often are students saying “I forgot” when it comes to class assignments or tests? Twitter can alleviate this issue. Teachers can send reminders to their students about projects or assignments that are due or remind them about upcoming tests. This way, students will have reminders to provide them with ample time to study or finish projects.

6. Keep parents involved.
If parents are on Twitter, it’s a great way for them to stay up to date with their child’s education. Parents can use Twitter to join discussions with teachers to find out what their child is learning and if they need any extra help. Parents can also find out assignments from the teacher to make sure that their child is keeping up with assignments and projects and that they’re amply studying for tests.

So before educators and parents start ruling out Twitter in the classroom, they should instead find out the benefits associated with it first, and then they may start singing a different tune.

Ben Myers is a college English professor.  He is currently grading a huge stack of essays on Of Mice and Men.  In his spare time, Ben likes to study about learning methods and learning disabilities.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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  1. It’s interesting to see the different views on how technology is affecting schooling techniques.

    My daughter just finished her essay on Of Mice and Men…

    1. Pamela, you’re right. I know that is the worry that many have about using social media in the classroom. I believe if we teach students appropriate use and have clear and firm expectations it can be managed well.

  2. I thought this was great! I had never before stopped to consider how powerful of a tool Twitter can be for teachers and students. 🙂


  3. Hmm…. not sure. Good points were made, but if twitter is used mainly for sending links, why not just email the links to the students? I’d be concerned about them joining in discussions with strangers online – especially for those under age. Students (of any age) and teachers may want to keep some of their own social networks restricted form each other.

    1. I agree,Nan. I’ve seen Twitter used well by projecting the feed onto a screen for everyone to view. I think it’s like anything else, it just needs to be managed well.

  4. You have good points but it can be applicable only to those in high school as they are responsible enough. As for my daughter who is on the 5th grade, I can’t allow her to have a twitter account yet. She has Facebook account but she uses it under my supervision.

  5. I work in an international school, and I believe some of the teachers are starting to use social media as a teaching tool. With great power comes great responsibility, right? As long as kids use this type of freedom responsibly, they should be fine.

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