ISTE Standard 2: Twitter in the Classroom

Question: How can teachers use Twitter to facilitate discussion, relay information and create collaboration?

twitterThe focus of the ISTE Standard 2 is to help facilitate the use of digital media in the classroom in an effort to create quality discussion and effective collaboration between teachers and students. According to the National Education Association, the social media phenomenon, Twitter, is being used by educators ‘to enrich their classrooms.’ Teachers are using Twitter to review previous lessons, remind students of future lessons and create discussion in 140 characters or fewer. Students are then able to post questions or comments which facilitates discussion and collaboration. One teacher claimed that he used Twitter to keep his students thinking after class had ended. Michelle Lampinen, a high school teacher, makes use of blogging by creating lessons that ‘address multiple Common Core standards, hold students accountable while minimizing stress, be structured enough to provide clarity while giving freedom to experiment, be varied enough to keep students engaged, and get students to write for multiple purposes.’ Assignments such as these can also be adapted for use on Twitter. Many school districts around the country are encouraging educators to use social media to enhance their classrooms.

I love the idea of using Twitter as a mean for communication and collaboration within the classroom. I believe that by using social media, students who may be quiet or shy in the classroom, may find their voice among the message boards. Many older students are already using Twitter as a means of communication, through posting their own tweets and following their friends. It seems like a natural progression to integrate this type communication into the classroom as it has the potential to engage students in learning by using a format that they already enjoy!

http://www.nea.org/home/32641.htm (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)

Lampinen, M. (2013). Blogging in the 21st-century classroom. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/blogging-in-21st-century-classroom-
michelle-lampinen

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5 thoughts on “ISTE Standard 2: Twitter in the Classroom

  1. ahoffner

    Hi Katie! I enjoyed reading your blog post! I have never used twitter before so I didn’t know that it could be used by teachers to communicate with their students. It sounds like it would engage students in learning because it is fun and interactive! Is there a reason that posts have to be 140 characters or fewer? Is that just to keep the discussion concise?

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    1. Kathryn Wright bPortfolio Post author

      Thanks for your comment! Twitter puts a 140 character limit on each ‘Tweet.’ According to Matt Gartner, a Quora blogger, ‘Twitter started as a primarily SMS-based service, where the standard character limit is 160-characters. The 140-character limit is based on this SMS limit, leaving 20 characters for the username. This helped all tweets to stay within one text message, instead of inundating people with multiple texts per tweet.’ It will be interesting to see if Twitter maintains the 140 character limit now that the majority of phones text in a multimedia (more than 160 character limit) format.

      http://www.quora.com/Why-does-Twitter-limit-the-message-length-to-140-characters

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    1. Kathryn Wright bPortfolio Post author

      Hi Danielle,

      Great question! I think Twitter is an excellent resource for middle school and high school aged students. If I were to use it with younger children, I would make sure every single privacy setting available was being used. Like with all social media sites, caution must be used to protect people’s privacy and safety. In further reflection, I do not think I would use it with students younger than middle school except to use as a platform for updating parents on day to day happenings and for informational purposes. I do not believe the idea behind Twitter was intended for small children.

      Thanks,

      Katie

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