Twitter is one of the best known social networking tools. It has been at the centre of scandals, the root of rebellions and a source of much controversy and mirth over the last few years as it has grown in prevalence.
What is it exactly?
Twitter is a social network or ‘micro-blogging’ service that allows members to send and receive short 140 character messages. You can find and follow people from all over the world and receive updates of their messages as they happen, and likewise they can sign up for your updates as and when you post them.
- Do Check: Twitter Under The Spotlight
How can this be used as a teaching aid?
Twitter as a service has a range of informational and social applications but one of its most undervalued uses is in the classroom. Here are some examples:
Kids know more about gadgets and the internet than many grown people. You were probably alive in a world before social networking and possibly even the internet even existed, whereas young children don’t know a world without it. They will identify with something like Twitter faster than most people, especially since it has a fluffy blue bird and a name that is fun to say.
Twitter is a good way to introduce poetry to primary children. Twitter operates in 140 character blocks of text, no more. This lends itself perfectly to ‘haikus’. A ‘haiku’ is a popular form of Japanese verse that is written in 17 syllables, split into 3 lines or 5,7 and 5 syllables. Here is a classic example by Bashō:
old pond . . .
a frog leaps in
The children will enjoy using Twitter and will learn about poetry at the same time. Perhaps you can post their haikus on a school Twitter account and reward the one who gets the most ‘retweets’?
Twitter can be used in a number of ways in high schools:
Computing – Networking – One of the core lessons in computing studies is networking. Twitter provides a great study tool for analysing how the fundamentals of networking work.
English – Concise writing – When teaching creative writing, learning to convey a message using Twitter’s limitations is a great way to encourage efficient use of language.
Social Studies – As an exploration of anthropology, Twitter allows students to delve into a huge range of information from all walks of life and to see how Twitter has brought many together.
While Twitter can be used at university to study many of the subjects above it is perhaps most effective when used to engage a class in additional discussion on a topic. Tutors can offer students their username to follow. Then a tutor can post any suggested readings or links to interesting blogs, while also providing reminders of deadlines.
How else can students learn through Twitter?
In addition to all of these suggestions, students and teachers can use Twitter to access a wealth of information on their specialist subject. It can be used to follow industry news and all of the major names in most areas; from CEOs and industry experts, to organisations and careers advice and job services.
The possibilities are really endless when it comes to using Twitter as a teaching tool. How will you use it in future?
For Further Reading:
- Twitter Under The Spotlight
- Privacy On Facebook And Twitter
- Twitter: How To Read Tweets In Your Language
- Operation Geronimo (Bin Laden) Was Revealed Beforehand In Twitter
- Google Seeks Intergration With Twitter And Facebook
- Twitter Following Facebook : Enables SSL
- Social Media As The Best Dental Marketing Tool
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