Teaching with Twitter

Twitter on its own is a nice simple tool suitable for keeping students up to date with subject news, deadlines, homework etc. It can also be used as a class discussion tool and for Q&A sessions. Another good use of Twitter is to get students to summarise their learning in the 140 character limit.  Twitter is quite easy to manage which makes it a good introduction to using real social media with students as part of a sensible esafety strategy.  I am in the process of trying to get parents following me as well to help them know what their child is doing in Business Studies. 

Remember to create a hashtag to help categorise your tweets: for Business Studies I use #fhebiz and for ICT I use #fhesict. 

If you are new to Twitter or would like some ideas for how to introduce your students to it see Twitter VLE lesson  A lesson I created for Year 9 students

Twitter third party tools are constantly being developed and can add some really nice features that can also have educational benefit.  Below are my favourites.

Wiffiti  - Wiffiti publishes real time messages to screens - see example at bottom of my blog home page. You can embed into your VLE as well.  Great for showing students questions or findings during a lesson.  E.g. create a hashtag for your lesson or topic and then create a Wiffiti for it.  I have embedded a revision wiffiti linked to the hashtag #bizreviz which I have embedded into a revision page on the VLE.  Students and I have used it to share information about the pre-release.

Twtpoll  Create polls and surveys on Twitter and view results in chart form.  Embed in your blogs and VLE.  Good for engaging students with news stories e.g. ask them to vote on their opinion about a news story.  Also can be used as an AFL tool.  Students can create their own polls or surveys for market research.  Users can also add a comment to support their vote.  

SAP PowerPoint Tools  A superb range of tools including a message screen and survey which can all be part of your everyday lesson PowerPoints. The afl possibilities with SAP are endless! 

Twitcam  Live stream video from your webcam.  You can embed your feed into your blog or VLE.  I've used this embedded on my VLE on Snow Days to have a live subject quiz.  I intend to do something similar with revision sessions.

Twitpic  Save pictures to the cloud and easily share via Twitter and other social media.  Good for sharing pictures of students' work or activities.  If we can get the parents following then it can be a really nice way of sharing their child's work. Visitors can leave comments as well.

Paper.li   Create a daily newspaper for your classes which gathers your tweets and any other subject related Twitters and news you want our students to see into one convenient publication.  You can see mine here