Inspire innovation with Twitter in the classroom.
GUEST COLUMN | by Jessica Sanders
Twitter, the social platform with more than 300 million monthly active users and 500 million Tweets sent per day, is the education tool you need to inspire innovation in your classroom.
Use these Twitter-based classroom and assignment ideas to change, alter, revolutionize and transform the way you and your students learn, explore and grow.
Take class discussions online with student-created hashtags. The process is simple: each week, one student creates a hashtag that will be used for an ongoing discussion throughout the week—you can determine this topic or leave it up to the students to decide. You can either: suggest that they choose a conversation to continue from an assignment or discussion last week or give them three options and they choose one.
Each night, students need to tweet at least one thought on the topic and link to a resource to support their idea or statement.
Search for Credible Sources
Instead of sending your students to the most popular news websites, have them head to Twitter, find a trending topic and begin researching the most recent information on it, using Tweets only.
You can also inform students about a current event, and have them find tweets and hashtags related to the topic. Give them a write-up assignment, where they detail what the event is, who the major players are and what resources, accounts and hashtags they found to be most useful.
Write 140-word Book Summaries
Teach students to transform the way they share information by assigning them a 140-word book report. This is perfect for teaching the Common Core Anchor 2 for reading, which encourages students to “…summarize the key supporting details and ideas.”
Require students to tag relevant people and accounts, and create or use existing hashtags as well.
Communicate With Other Classrooms
Make learning more collaborative by connecting with another classroom on Twitter. Use your PLN to find a teacher who wants to host a joint lesson and/or discussion using a specific hashtags.
Compile Inspirational Quotes
Few things inspire innovation more than motivational quotes. Students can use Twitter to search for these quotes and then compile them by “favoriting” the tweets. This can be a fun #MotivationMonday activity—each student finds a quote and shares it with the class using a class-specific hashtag.
Tweet From the Perspective of a Book Character
Instead of writing about the characters of a book your students just finished, have them take on their personality by tweeting the way they think that character would. This forces them to think differently about the task, embodying the character using both obvious and implied personality traits.
Write a Class Poem
Use Twitter to make class discussions more interactive. For example, write a class poem, having each student tweet the one line they’re contributing as you write it on the white board. At the end, you can screenshot all the tweets together (if you used a hashtag) to read your full Twitter poem together.
Live Tweet a Classroom Field Trip
Students can share their field trip experience in real-time by tweeting about it. Allow each student just two tweets for the day so they have to be particular about what and when they want to share, and aren’t walking around looking down at a screen the whole time.
Create a Poll
Encourage students think differently about how they collect information—assign them to poll their peers via Twitter. Have them put this information into an infographic or animated video to help them hone even more of their technology skills.
Jessica Sanders is the Director of Social Outreach for Learn2Earn, an online fundraising platform that allows students to raise money by reading books. She grew up reading books like The Giver and Holes, and is passionate about making reading as exciting for young kids today as it has always been for her. Follow Learn2Earn on Twitter and Facebook, and send content inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.