Saturday, January 1, 2011

Would Shakespeare Tweet? Twitter in the Classroom

Now that I have told you all about twitter and walked you through the process of setting up an account, it's time to ask the big question- who cares?  In all honesty, twitter can be a fun way to express yourself but if it can't impact the world and have a true purpose than it may just be an entertaining waste of time.  More specifically, can twitter have an impact on classrooms?  Can education find a use for social micro-blogging?  Whenever you bring up the idea of using technology with students many teachers and administrators become increasingly nervous.  What if the students use the technology in an inappropriate manner?  What if they hurt the computers?  What if their parents feel uncomfortable with their child using the Internet in such a public manner?  There will always be fears with unknown technology, but the best way to change education is to think outside the box.  For good and bad, here are some possible ways to incorporate micro-blogging into the classroom:

-    Teachers can use twitter to remind students of upcoming projects- With email, teacher websites, and teacherease, twitter seems an unlikely way to keep students updated but it is one possible idea.
-    Students assume twitter identities- Have students create limited twitter accounts where they assume the identity of a famous author or literary figure and they tweet as if them.  Caution would need to be taken to ensure student safety but this could be a fun way for kids to use technology and be creative.

But maybe they can use twitter without really using twitter?  Since it is such a cultural phenomenon that everyone is aware of, students could use the concept of twitter while not exposing themselves to the risks of the internet (especially for younger children).  A project could ask kids to tweet as a literary character with typed tweets in a word document or prezi presentation.  For example, what would Odysseus tweet while on his famous epic journey.  Or, what would star-crossed lovers Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet have to say as their impending deaths drew nearer?  Would their tweets have been able to save them from the mistaken communication that resulted in their deaths? 


  1. Steve, I'm thinking that not only is this a good way for students to keep track of upcoming events, but possibly even more importantly, a way for parents to get tweets on upcoming events that their student is participating in.

  2. I agree with Patrick. It could be like that article we read about Facebook in the 1st grade! Each class could have its own Twitter name and post one line about what they did that day in class.

    Or students could have their own Twitter to use as a micro-blog about how they feel their progress in class is going.

  3. I really like the idea of students tweeting as if they were other people in history/literature/science, etc...

    You wouldn't even need to do it on the web, but could do a similar "what would they tweet?" worksheet to show students understand the perspectives of the people you're discussing.