We’re excited to present you with a guest post from Carey Cruz today, bio at end.
There is a good chance that whether you teach elementary, middle or high school, your students and their parents are already aware of Twitter at the very least. This being the case, you can use the attributes of communicating on Twitter to your advantage. Twitter is known for being a fast way to summarize and communicate so planning lessons and communicating with these attributes in mind will not only teach students about this social networking service, it will make your job easier. Below you will find ways to use Twitter in both your lessons and as a tool to communicate with students and their parents:
1. Communicating with Parents
Twitter is a great way to send reminders to parents. Are you headed out on a field trip the next day? You can send a reminder of what students will need to bring and ensure you get those last minute permission slips some parents may have forgotten. If you have a classroom blog, you can link it to the Twitter account you use to communicate with parents. You can also remind them about parent and teacher conferences as well as school events such as the school play or picnic.
2. Communicating with Students
Students, especially those in elementary and middle school, are still learning to get organized and some are better at it than others. However, for those still learning, a simple tweet can be all they need to remember their homework or an important assignment. If they are still forgetting their work after you send reminders, then you may have to give them some extra attention in this area.
3. Reading Comprehension and Summarization
It is a difficult task to read and summarize information, and this is true for students in grade school all the way up to high school. There are even students who are good at reading comprehension, but have difficulty when it comes to writing only the main point of a reading assignment in a concise manner. A fun lesson to help students develop this skill is having them use Twitter to summarize their reading assignments. They will be limited to how much they are able to tweet and, therefore, forced to think of how to write the meaning in a simple sentence or two.
4. Reaching Around the World
As a class you can conduct an interview with someone living in another country through Twitter. This activity takes the idea of a pen pal to the next level because you do not have to wait for an email or letter reply. You can have each student come up with a question to ask about the country where the interviewee lives. This activity will require you to find and set up this interview, which may or may not be a difficult task depending on whether you have friends or family in another country. You will also have to prepare students for the fact that all their questions may not get answered depending on the knowledge of the person they interview. However, assure them that you can all find the answers as a class later.
It was not so long ago that email did not exist and now we use emails to communicate for both professional and personal reasons on a daily basis. There is a good chance that your students will not be able to avoid social networking services such as Twitter and that these services will become a part of their everyday life if they have not already. It is important that as they incorporate social networking into their life, they understand how it affects their world and the world around them.
Carey Cruz is a chief writer at bestessay.com with a background in the field of education including seven years of teaching experience. Core interests: e-learning, social media and postmodern literature.
**Editor’s Note: Interested in learning more ways to use social media in your classroom? Check out Connecting to Students Outside the Classroom for tips on ways to use Facebook.**