Twitter in the Classroom (Walls & Halls of the 21st Century)

There are a large number of ways that Twitter can be used in the classroom. This is especially so since there is no official age restriction when using Twitter. But what about those schools or school boards that restrict the use of Twitter for students. Or perhaps you are limited by the amount technology available in your school.  For any teachers who find themselves in a similar situation, I'd like to recommend a system that you can adopt and promote within your school that makes use of Twitter in a safe and meaningful way.

The document on the left outlines a simple procedure to implement in your school (a template for your own personal use is shared below).

Guideline 1 promotes a uniform identity within your school. These naming conventions make users easily identifiable as teachers and members of your school community.

Guidelines 2 to 4 ensure that student privacy is prioritized at your school when using Twitter.

Now many teachers in your school, yourself included, likely already have a personal Twitter account. In situations like this, it may be best to set up a second account, used primarily for school-related communication. When tweeting on behalf of students, or within a school community it's vital that we remember our intended audience: parents, teachers, peers and others in the school community!

Once you've got a similar system in place, it's time to begin tweeting! If you are tweeting on behalf of your students, limited technology is no longer a hurdle. Rather, it's an opportunity to share all the meaningful learning experiences happening in your classroom. It's an opportunity to introduce your students to, and build expertise with one of the most widespread social media tools in use today.

Many teachers post examples of student achievement on the walls and hallways of their schools. Using Twitter in this way is just like posting student work on the walls - 21st Century style!

When introducing Twitter to the classroom, it may be of benefit to co-create criteria for effective use with your students. Something along the lines of:
  • our tweets are concise
  • our tweets are meaningful
  • our tweets are respectful
  • our tweets make appropriate use of hashtags # and at signs @
One final step may be to set up a general school account. One that retweets especially meaningful tweets from teachers. One that captures and tweets exciting events happening in the school. One that provides information about school matters to a public audience.

If you feel like a presence on Twitter may benefit you, your students or your school, please feel free to take and adapt the above document and modify as you see fit. It's available to you here: Are You Tweet Savvy?

While you're at at, why don't you begin by following us @inquireinspire ;)


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