Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Just as I joined Facebook, many of my friends became a part of the Twitter phenomenon. It is also popular among many celebrities, politicians, and other famous people. Ordinary people, like myself, can follow their "tweets" or messages in real time. Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that keeps people connected through the exchange of messages or what is referred to as "tweets." You can pretty much say what is on your mind. The messages that are posted on your twitter can be viewed by anyone that visits your page.

Twitter is a way to build up an extensive network of contacts who can be updated on your thoughts and activities. Twitter can also be seen as a mini blog where small posts can be made throughout the day. You are limited to 140 characters and spaces per post or "tweet". So, a whole lot of writing cannot be done.

Here are some other features of twitter:

1. You can send and recieve updates via text messages, the twitter website, or by email.
2. Restricted delivery just to your circle of friends can be done.
3. You can search for people by name or user name, get friends from other networks, or
invite friends by email

I wonder how Twitter can be used in the classroom? How can I, or any teacher, use Twitter with our students. I have actually never thought of Twitter as a tool that can be used for educational purposes until I read this article. It was interesting to be provided with a real-life application of how Twitter can be used in the classroom. I especially liked how a teacher, George Mayo, from Montgomery, MD, used Twitter to write a story collaboratively with his students and other students from around the world. The students would add a couple of sentences to an on-going story through tweets. In the end, a story was created collaboratively among students from all over the world.

Mayo does mention one negative aspect to Twitter. He says that he had to create one teacher account and password and then give this information to all the students. In another teacher example, Twitter was used a "cross-curricular" tool where students can respond to questions and prompts posed and provide feedback to other students' projects.

Here are additional Twitter resources for teachers. You will find articles on Twitter in Education, along with presentations on how teachers can start and use Twitter. Additionally, here are more useful resources for teachers, including a handbook and training resources.

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