Twitter in the Classroom
Use Twitter to communicate, connect and engage your students in learning about their mental health & wellbeing. Here we explore ideas for using Twitter in & out of your classroom.
This will help you to:
- Understand how Twitter can engage students
- Use hashtags & apps for sharing Twitter conversations
- Expand student learning about mental health & wellbeing beyond your classroom
Why use Twitter in your classroom?
- Conversations about classroom content can extend beyond the face to face classroom-Twitter is portable learning
- Twitter posts are 140 characters-this makes teachers get straight to the point and summarises the most important points of your lesson
- Learning can be customised-differentiated learning amongst students can occur simultaneously as you are teaching face-to-face (Multi-Modal Teaching)
- Twitter assists in connecting students to multimedia platforms with ease-such as YouTube and Vimeo
- Twitter can give voice to the introvert student in your classroom- having a running twitter feed up on the board of your classroom allows students to also provide answers to questions without speaking in front of other students
- Connecting to other schools, classrooms or students who are studying the same topic across geographical boundaries is achievable in real time-shared knowledge, ideas and discussions can occur
How to use Twitter in your classroom?
- Use hashtags (#) to set up customised threads for sharing information on lesson themes/topics-Eg, #boost wellbeing, #helpseeking, #huntthegoodstuff.
- Begin your lesson using a hashtag with a discussion or give students the hashtag you are going to use for the next lesson so they can populate it with information they already know about the topic, or questions they have. This promotes student ownership of their learning and allows the teacher to plan for an engaging and relevant lesson to to match student knowledge levels.
- Create a hashtag specific to your class or year level you are teaching the same topic to and generate whole discussions on specific topics-Eg #Year9Health or #Year7MentalHealth.
- Expand your resources through following hashtags such as #ted-TED has a great pool of short videos about a range of topics to boost student interest.
- Recap the lesson-Use scheduling management sites such as Hootsuit or TweetDeck to schedule recap info for students following a lesson. Use Storify to capture all conversations with the same hashtag to assist students to revise for exams is also a fun way to capture information learnt.
- Information Boards-Use Twitter as a message board to disseminate information about an upcoming topic, homework or reminder for an excursion that is happening with your class, year level or whole school event. This is achieved using a dedicated hashtag for each theme you would like to communicate to students, teachers or parents/carers.
- Twitter Wall Apps-For a whole school approach, try a ‘Twitter wall’ using an app such as Visible Tweets. Tweets are displayed in a public area in the school such as staffroom, Administration area or common student area (depending on the content and target audience).
Supporting Students to be safe online